A selection of works and objects of the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking grabs hundreds of thousands of dollars per piece at a recent Christie auction.
Among the items sold were the motorized red leather wheelchair and a copy of his doctoral dissertation Properties of World Development – one of five known copies – sold for £ 296,750 ($ 532,663) and £ 584,750 ($ 1049,620) respectively.
These items were included in Christie's "On the Shoulders of Giants" auction, which was held from October 31 to November 8, and included manuscripts from colleagues from Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and someone named Albert Einstein.
Auction items belonging to Hawking also included a copy of his book A short story of time ($ 123,856), Alpha Industries jacket selling for £ 40,000 ($ 72,061) and a collection of medals and prizes sold for £ 296,750 ($ 532,606).
In addition to Hawking's personal documents and items, an original production script for the final appearance of Stephen Hawking The Simpsons – which was portrayed as a gold chain rider and a Kangol hat – also sold £ 6250 ($ 11,260). An invitation to his famous Reception for Travelers of Time earned £ 11,250 (20,267).
"Stephen Hawking was a huge personality all over the world," said Thomas Venning, head of the Books and Manuscripts department of Christie's auction house in London. Reuters before the auction. "He had this amazing ability to connect with people."
Hawking's red chair was among one of the first wheel chairs to use after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It was sold for nearly twenty times what was expected to be auctioned, and its sale will benefit both Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
According to Guardian, Lucy Hawking's daughter said the auction was an opportunity for her fans to "get a message of our father's extraordinary life in the form of a small selection of exciting and fascinating items."[Christie’s via Associated Press]