Stephen Hawking's wheelchair and a set of medals and awards have been sold for a total of nearly 600,000, while a copy of his doctoral thesis took up almost that amount on his own, at an auction of items belonging to him and other famous researchers.
The sales, run online by Christies and including 52 parties, increased more than 1.8 million pounds on Thursday. It included articles belonging to Hawking, as well as others that are linked to Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.
The dissertation is expected to sell for up to £ 150,000, but the buyer eventually contributes to £ 584,750 to secure it. Hawk's motorized wheelchair sold for $ 296,750, as well as the excellent rate, including the Albert Einstein Prize for Performance in Natural Science. One of Newton's manuscripts sold for $ 100,000, a letter written by Darwin was $ 50,000 and a bidder agreed to pay $ 32,500 for one of Einstein's manuscripts.
The sale is called "On the Giants Shoulders" – a reference to the famous phrase once used by Newton for its own achievements: "If I've seen it anymore, it's by standing on Giant's shoulders."
The money arising from the sale of the wheelchair will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Hawking lived most of his life with motor neuron disease, before he died at the age of 76 in March.
Also on sales were personal copies of the British physicist's paper, such as a copy of his article 1974, Black Hole Explosions ?, where he predicted black holes would release blackbody radiation, known as Hawking Radiation. The paper was sold for £ 7,500.
A copy of his bestselling A short story of time, signed with a thumbnail, was sold for $ 68,750, a bomber jacket went for $ 40,000 and the script for one of his performances at The Simpsons was sold for 6 650 kr.
Hawk's daughter, Lucy, said the sale gave "admirers of his work the chance to get a memorable one of our father's extraordinary life in the form of a small selection of inspiring and fascinating things".
Hawking children hope to maintain their scientific archives for the nation. Christies handled the negotiations to hand it over to the British authorities instead of inheritance tax.
Other remarkable things included a document signed by Isaac Newton and repaying a loan that sold for $ 56,250. A letter from Charles Darwin described as his "glowing review of the naturalist's report of the challenger expedition ", which sold for 15,000 kronor and a copy of Einstein's view of Newton, once owned by the former son and sold for 13 750 kronor.