Tuesday , April 20 2021

Stephen Hawking's wheelchair sells 20 times sales estimate at auction

Stephen Hawking's wheelchair, which the late theoretical physicist used in the 1980s and 1990s, exceeded sales expectations at an online auction held on Thursday.

The chair value was previously estimated at up to $ 19,500 (£ 15,000), but eventually sold to $ 387,480 (£ 296,750) CNN reported. The amount is almost 20 times more than its pre-sales estimate.

It also sold for more than the amount collected by manuscripts from other well-known researchers.

Hawking used the wheelchair after being paralyzed with degenerative nervous disease Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease.

"Hawking originally started against the idea of ​​using wheelchairs in the late 1960s, by the end of the 1970s he used motorized models as the current example, and was also known to be a rather wild driver," says auction driver Christie in a statement before the auction.

"At the end of the 1980s he was at his height and gave his extensive trips to conferences and public events, as well as the scope of his intellectual space exploration exploration, it is probably literally and metaphorically the most traveled wheelchair in history."

The proceeds from the sale of the chair will go to two charities, the Motor Neuron Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation.

The late Stephen Hawking is sitting on his wheelchair in China.

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The sale was called "On the Shoulders of Giant" also included a set of Hawking medals and awards, as well as a copy of Hawking's Ph.D. thesis.

The dissertation is expected to be sold for up to $ 195,800 (£ 150,000) but a buyer bids $ 763,300 (£ 584,750) to secure it.

Hawking's work attracted more than researchers Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. A letter written by Darwin sold for $ 64,700 ($ 50,000) and one of Newton's manuscripts was sold for $ 129,400 ($ 100,000). A bidder also agreed to pay $ 42,054 (£ 32,500) for one of Einstein's manuscripts.

Hawking was only 21 years old when diagnosed with ALS. He was told that he had only a few years to live because of his illness.

Hawking, however, managed to live for many decades, during which he expanded scientific thinking about black holes and universes. He conducted lectures and wrote books, including 1988 A short story of time, which became one of the best selling science books all the time.

On March 14, Hawking died at Cambridge. He was 76 years old.

Hawking daughter Lucy said that the sale offered the chance for his father's admirer to acquire a memory of the scientist's extraordinary life.

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