Stephen Hawking's Thesis, First Wheelchair to Be Auctioned Off


London-based auction house Christie's has announced an online sale of 22 items from the late British physicist Stephen Hawking including one of his wheelchairs and complex scientific papers.

In particular, one of the five copies of the doctoral thesis on "the Properties of universes expanding" of the estimated 130 thousand to $ 195 thousand dollars. Hawking will take his place among Britain's greatest scientists when his ashes are buried in Westminster Abbey, Friday June 15, 2018, between the graves of Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton, during a service of thanksgiving for the physicist who died in March 2018.

"It has been a huge privilege for Christie's to work on this selection of objects from the estate of one of the most brilliant minds of the last half-century", Thomas Venning, head of Christies' books and manuscripts department, said in a press release announcing the auction.

Other personal belongings of Hawkings to be auctioned include a bomber jacket and a collection of his medals. Hawking used a wheelchair during his time at Cambridge and for most of his life, after he was diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The thesis is signed by Hawking: "This dissertation is my original work, S.W. Hawking".

By the late 1980s he was at the height of his fame, and given his extensive travels to conferences and public events, as well as the scope of his intellectual explorations of space-time, Christie's said the wheelchair on sale "is arguably both literally and metaphorically the most-travelled wheelchair in history".

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The proceeds from the auction of the chair will benefit the The Stephen Hawking Foundation, which advocates for the rights of people with disabilities, and The Motor Neurone Disease Association. His landmark book a "A Brief History of Time", sold more than 10 million copies.

Hawking also appeared on "The Simpsons" multiple times, and the upcoming auction will include a script from one of his show appearances. A leather bomber jacket and a copy of the script of the 22nd season premiere of "The Simpsons", entitled "Elementary School Musical", for which Hawking lent his voice.

Also on the block is a thumbprint-autographed original copy of the 1988 book that passed from Carl Sagan to Hawking the unofficial title of the world's leading cosmic explainer.

Daughter Lucy Hawking said that "through the auction, fans of the scientist will get the chance to become owners of relics, reminiscent of the extraordinary life of a theoretical physicist".

The online auction begins Wednesday, Oct. 31, and concludes on Thursday, Nov. 8.