Stephen Hawking's wheelchair and medals are up for auction

Cristina Cross
October 25, 2018

Almost two dozen personal items belonging to the late legendary physicist Stephen Hawking will be for sale at auction beginning on Halloween day.

Perhaps the most sought-after artifact in the auction will be one of five existing copies of Hawking's 1965 Cambridge University Ph.D. thesis, " Properties of Expanding Universes", which carries an estimated price of £100,000 to £150,000 ($130,000 to $195,000).

Auctioneer Christie's announced the online sale on Monday as part of a larger auction featuring scientific papers by Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton, the Associated Press reported.

The wheelchair being auctioned was used by Stephen Hawking from the end of the 1980s until the early years of the 1990s, before he became unable to use his hands to drive a wheelchair.

"The lots selected for sale highlight Professor Hawking's remarkable achievements in science alongside his unique personality and inspirational life story", Thomas Venning, Head of the Books and Manuscripts department, said in a statement.

At age 22, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, just as he was beginning his doctoral work at Cambridge.

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British physicist Stephen Hawking's motorised wheelchair, medals and awards, and a signed copy of his PhD thesis are among a range of items set to go under the hammer in the UK.

Additionally, a few more whimsical items will be up for sale, including a copy of the script for a Simpsons episode he was featured in.

Upon his passing in March, Stephen Hawking bequeathed a scientific legacy that will descend to new researchers and theoreticians for generations to come.

The auction includes a copy of Hawking's famous book "A Brief History of Time" with his fingerprint. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which facilitates scientific researches, and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Pieces will be on display in London, and officially for sale October 31 through November 8.

His daughter Lucy said the auction gives "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".

A poster advertising Time Travellers meeting hosted by Stephen Hawking, is one of the personal and academic possessions of Stephen Hawking at the auction house Christies in London, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. A Book, and scripts by Stephen Hawking are among the personal and academic possessions of Stephen Hawking at the auction hous.

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