Late physicist Stephen Hawking's wheelchair, thesis auction for over $1mn

Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sells for £300,000 at auction

Stephen Hawking wheelchair sells for nearly $400G at auction

Diagnosed with motor neuron disease at 22 and given just a few years to live, Hawking died in March at 76.

Belongings of Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein were auctioned by Christie's on Thursday.

A collection of Hawking's medals and awards fetched almost £300,000 ($392,000) more-again well above the expected price.

Stephen Hawking fans raised nearly $2 million at an auction that will benefit The Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The motorized chair, used by the physicist after he was paralyzed with motor neuron disease, sold for 296,750 pounds in a Christies online auction on Thursday Nov. 8, 2018. Hawking's items all combined sold for about $1,306,275 at the auction. While the chair was expected to sell somewhere between £10,000 and £15,000, the ultimate price was nearly £300,000 (almost $392,000).

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A bidder also spent more than US$760,000 - more than double the expectation - on Prof Hawking's signed 1965 PhD thesis, Properties of Expanding Universes, about the origins of time and space.

A copy of his bestselling A Brief History of Time, signed with a thumbprint, sold for £68,750, a bomber jacket went for £40,000 and the script for one of his appearances on The Simpsons sold for £6,250.

The second most expensive item in the collection is the beloved physicist's former wheelchair, which raised $390,000.

Auction house Christie's ran the auction called "On the Shoulders of Giants" to raise money for the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Letters and manuscripts belonged to Newton, Einstein and Darwin were also put on the sale.

The items are only a small selection from Hawking's archive, which his family is donating to the nation in lieu of paying inheritance tax, although there are no details yet of where it will be stored.

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