Stephen Hawking's Wheelchair And Doctoral Thesis Sell In Multimillion Dollar Auction


US-A copy of Stephen Hawking's doctorate thesis signed in a shaky hand was the highlight of an auction of the British physicist's personal items in London, which raised almost £1.4 million ($1.8 million, 1.6 million euros).

The Auction House Christie's Head of the Books and Manuscripts department, Thomas Venning said to a media that the legendary Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide and had an awesome ability to connect with people with his brilliance and knowledge over science. The two items raised £881,500 (S$1.6 million).

Auction house Christies ran the nine-day online auction called "On the Shoulders of Giants" to raise money for the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Among the items sold were his motorised red leather wheelchair and a copy of his doctoral thesis Properties of Expanding Universes - one of five known copies - which sold for £296,750 ($532,663) and £584,750 ($1049,620) respectively. However, he lived to the age of 76, dying in March.

A copy of his 1988 best-seller "A Brief History of Time", signed with a thumbprint, sold for about 89,000 dollars.

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A script from one of his appearances on the television series "The Simpsons" was one of the 22 items in the auction, selling for more than $8,000.

Hawking's motorized wheelchair and a set of his medals and awards have been sold for a combined total of nearly £600,000, while a copy of his Ph.D. thesis raised almost the same amount on its own.

The motorized wheelchair he used from the late 1980's until the mid-90's sold for about $390,000, or 20 times the initial estimate.

Other items sold in the online auction were linked to Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.

According to the Guardian, Hawking's children are planning on donating the remainder of their father's estate to the nation "in lieu of inheritance tax".