Stephen Hawking's thesis and wheelchair sell for $1 million

Still from the movie ‘Theory Of Everything’ where Hawking was portrayed by English actor Eddie Redmayne

Still from the movie ‘Theory Of Everything’ where Hawking was portrayed by English actor Eddie Redmayne

Stephen Hawking's red motorized wheelchair fetched almost 300,000 pounds (€345,500, $392,000) at auction while a dissertation sold for almost twice that amount, Christie's auction house said Thursday.

The sale, run online by Christie's and including 52 lots, raised more than £1.8m on Thursday.

The auction was titled as "On the Shoulder of Giants" which is a reference to the famous phrase once used by Newton: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants".

A staff member of auctioneer Christie's shows Stephen Hawking's wheelchair during a photocall for an online auction in London.

A bomber jacket once owned by Hawking sold for about $51,855. The chair was initially expected to sell for roughly between $13,000 and $20,000. Proceeds from the sale of the chairs with the motor, which Hawking was used in the late 1980s and early 1990s years, will Fund Stephen Hawking and the British Association of motor neuron disease.

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Hawking's 117-page dissertation "Properties of expanding universes" from 1965 sold for 584,750 pounds, well ahead of the estimate of up to 150,000. The work is signed twice by the physicist and includes the notation, "this dissertation is my original work".

Thomas Venning, head of the books and manuscripts department at Christie's London, said: "The sale concludes with Professor Hawking's wheelchair, in which he both toured the world as a successful scientific communicator, and from which his mind voyaged to the outer reaches of space-time, making it literally and figuratively one of the most-travelled wheelchairs in history".

The invitations Hawking had printed will be included as part of an auction of items from his estate, Atlas Obscura reported. It included items belonging to Hawking, as well as others linked to Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

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".

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