Professor Hawking’s Iconic Wheelchair sells at Christie’s for £296,750, benefitting the Foundation and the MND Association
The lot featured in Christie’s online On The Shoulders of Giants, which closed yesterday having achieved a 100% sale success, with record prices for some items. We are honoured that the last lot of the sale, one of Professor Hawking’s iconic wheelchairs, was sold to benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The items in the sale ranged from the offprints (Professor Hawking’s own printed copies) of his most important papers, including his seminal ‘Black Hole Explosions’ of 1974, to a selection of his medals and awards, a copy of his best-selling ‘A Brief History of Time’ (1988) signed with a thumbprint, a bomber jacket, and the script for one of his appearances on The Simpsons. A highlight of the group was Hawking’s thesis typescript, which sold for nearly £600,000.
Professor Hawking’s iconic wheelchair was sold specifically to raise funds for the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the MND Association. It achieved the astounding price of £296,750. The proceeds will be shared between the two charities.
Dr Lucy Hawking, Chair of the Stephen Hawking Foundation says “We are overwhelmed at the generous offer for our father’s iconic wheelchair – this money will go to support two charities which meant so much to our father. We think he would be really pleased.”
Thomas Venning, Head of the Books and Manuscripts department, and James Hyslop, Head of Science and Natural History department, Christie’s London comment: “It has been a huge privilege for Christie’s to work with the estate of the late Professor Stephen Hawking. The results of this remarkable sale, with more than 400 registered bidders from 30 different countries, demonstrate the enormous admiration and affection with which Stephen Hawking was viewed around the world. We are particularly satisfied with the results for Hawking’s thesis, which symbolised his return to scientific work after the devastating setback of his diagnosis with ALS, and for his wheelchair, the proceeds of which will go to support the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association”.
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