ibusinesslines.com November 14, 2018

Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis set to be auctioned

24 October 2018, 02:15 | Justin Tyler

Auction house to sell Stephen Hawking's wheelchair, thesis and his script from 'The Simpsons'

Stephen Hawking's most prized possessions go under the hammer

Online bids for the 22 items can be placed between 31 October and 8 November.

Christie's, a global auctioneer headquartered in London, is selling several of Hawking's papers, including his dissertation, thesis on the origins of the universe and his spectrum of wormholes.

Estimated prices range from £100 ($130) for a limited-edition print of Stephen Hawking's Time Travellers Invitation to £150,000 ($195,360) for a photocopy typescript of his PhD thesis (signed and inscribed) from 1965.

A motorized red and maroon leather wheelchair Hawking used from the late-1980s to the mid-1990s is also for sale. Months after the cosmic visionary passed away, the online auction and private sales organization announced its science sale that will also feature papers by prominent scientists Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein. Hawking used a wheelchair during his time at Cambridge and for most of his life, after he was diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Upon his passing in March, Stephen Hawking bequeathed a scientific legacy that will descend to new researchers and theoreticians for generations to come.

"It has been a huge privilege for Christie's to work on this selection of objects from the estate of one of the most brilliant minds of the last half-century", Thomas Venning, head of Christies' books and manuscripts department, said in a press release announcing the auction.

Venning said the wheelchair became a symbol not just of disability but of Hawking's "puckish sense of humour".

Hawking was diagnosed at age 22, just after starting his doctoral studies, and doctors initially said he would only live a few more years.

As the disease progressed, Hawking began using a wheelchair and communicating with others using a voice-generating computer. Proceeds from its sale will go to two charities, the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. It's estimated to sell for $13,000-$19,000 (£10,000-15,000, AU$18,000-$27,000).

Frank Augstein/APA bomber jacket given to Stephen Hawking.

"Christie's makes no promise that the property is of satisfactory quality or fit for any goal and sells the property with no warranty except for title", the auction house says.

Lucy Hawking, the late physicist's daughter, told the AP that the auction will give "admirers of [Hawking's] work the chance to acquire a memento of our father's extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items".

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