Hawk­ing’s wheel­chair sells for $393,000

The Korea Times - - PEOPLE - LON­DON ( AP)

— A wheel­chair used by physi­cist Stephen Hawk­ing has sold at auc­tion for al­most 300,000 pounds ($393,000), while a copy of his doc­toral the­sis fetched al­most 585,000 pounds ($767,000), auc­tion­eer Christie’s said Thurs­day.

The mo­tor­ized chair, used by Hawk­ing af­ter he was par­a­lyzed with mo­tor neu­ron dis­ease, raised 296,750 pounds in a Christie’s on­line auc­tion. It had been ex­pected to fetch up to 15,000 pounds.

Pro­ceeds from the chair’s sale will go to two char­i­ties, the Stephen Hawk­ing Foun­da­tion and the Mo­tor Neu­rone Dis­ease As­so­ci­a­tion.

Hawk­ing’s 1965 Cam­bridge Univer­sity the­sis, “Prop­er­ties of Ex­pand­ing Uni­verses,” sold for 584,750 pounds, more than three times its pre-sale es­ti­mate, in the on­line auc­tion.

Di­ag­nosed with mo­tor neu­ron dis­ease at 22 and given just a few years to live, Hawk­ing in­stead died in March at 76. He ex­panded sci­en­tific think­ing about black holes and the ori­gins of the uni­verse and at­tained celebrity sta­tus, writ­ing best-sell­ing books and guest star­ring on “The Simp­sons.”

A script from one of his ap­pear­ances on the an­i­mated TV show sold for 6,250 pounds in the sale of 22 Hawk­ing items, while a col­lec­tion of his medals and awards raised 296,750 pounds.

Hawk­ing’s daugh­ter Lucy said the sale gave “ad­mir­ers of his work the chance to ac­quire a me­mento of our fa­ther’s ex­tra­or­di­nary life in the shape of a small se­lec­tion of evoca­tive and fas­ci­nat­ing items.”

Hawk­ing’s chil­dren hope to pre­serve his sci­en­tific ar­chive for the na­tion. Christie’s is han­dling the ne­go­ti­a­tions to hand it over to Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties in lieu of in­her­i­tance tax.


A staff mem­ber of Christie’s shows Stephen Hawk- ing’s wheel­chair dur­ing a pho­to­call for an on­line auc- tion in Lon­don, in this Oct. 30 photo.

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