Stephen Hawking's thesis and wheelchair sell for RM4.8 million

11 November, 2018, 02:31 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sells for £300,000 at auction

A motorised wheelchair used by the late British physicist Stephen Hawking sold at auction on Thursday for nearly £300,000 with the proceeds going to charity. While the chair was expected to sell somewhere between £10,000 and £15,000, the ultimate price was nearly £300,000 (almost $392,000).

When Cambridge finally made Hawking's thesis available to download in 2017, it was viewed more than 60,000 times in 24 hours and public interest completely crashed the university's server.

Famed for his work exploring the origins of the universe, Professor Hawking died in March at the age of 76 after spending most of his life confined to a wheelchair with motor neurone disease.

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.

Christie's, a London-based auctioneer, handled the sale, which was first announced back in October.


The motorized chair, used by Hawking after he was paralyzed with motor neuron disease, raised 296,750 pounds in a Christie's online auction.

Among the 22 objects to be auctioned is a copy of the author of the bestseller "Brief History of Time" (1988) signed with the thumbprint of one of his thumbs, whose price reached 89 thousand dollars (from an initial estimate of two thousand 600 to three thousand 900 dollars).

The Simpsons script, meanwhile, was sold for around $8,100. Along with inclusion of Hawking's personal belongings, the auction also included belongings linked to scientists including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, wrote The Guardian.

The proceeds will be donated to two charities - the Foundation of Stephen Hawking and the Association for the fight against motor neuron disease (Motor Neurone Disease Association).

In total the auction raised £1,824,375.

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