Stephen Hawking's wheelchair sells for $393000 at auction

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

The motorised chair, used by the physicist after he was paralysed with motor neuron disease, sold for £296,750 in a Christie's online auction.

A red leather wheelchair that Hawking used from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, driving himself using a joystick, sold for £296,750 while an early edition of his bestselling book "A Brief History of Time" marked with a thumbprint, fetched £68,750.

Also on sale were personal copies of the British physicist's papers, such as a copy of his 1974 article, Black Hole Explosions?, in which he predicted that black holes would release blackbody radiation, known as Hawking Radiation.

The same price of £296,750 was achieved by Hawking's earliest existing motorized wheelchair, which he used extensively during the worldwide book tour for his 1988 best-seller A Brief History of Time.

In total, 22 items that belonged to Hawking raised $1.8 million (£1.38M) on November 8 as part of the online sale "On the Shoulders of Giants", which also featured papers from Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

Described as "arguably both literally and metaphorically the most-travelled wheelchair in history", the specially-adapted chair had originally been expected to fetch just £15,000. The money will go to his foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

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Hawking, who was also a cosmologist, astronomer, mathematician and a prolific author, died in March at age 76.

Hawking's 117-page dissertation "Properties of expanding universes" from 1965 sold for 584,750 pounds ($764,024) well ahead of the estimate of up to 150,000 pounds.

During the auction was able to implement a single instance of the thesis that the scientist has created fifty-three years ago.

Image: Some of the professor's medals and awards were sold.

According to The Guardian, Hawking's children plan to donate the rest of their father's estate to the nation as part of the "acceptance in lieu" scheme, which allows one to transfer objects of artistic or historical value into public ownership to pay down inheritance tax.

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