Items belonging to Professor Stephen Hawking are to be auctioned off at Christie’s, giving fans a rare opportunity to own prized possessions belonging to the renowned theoretical physicist.
The lots featured in the sale include a selection of his most important papers, one of his earliest wheelchairs and even a script from his appearances on The Simpsons.
In an hugely exciting sale for admirers of the physicist, who died in March aged 76, medals, awards, signed books and bomber jackets will also go under the hammer from as little as £100.
Items belonging to Professor Stephen Hawking are to be auctioned off at Christie’s, giving fans a rare opportunity to own prized possessions belonging to the renowned theoretical physicist
The lots featured in the sale include a selection of his most important papers, one of his earliest available wheelchairs and even a script from his appearances on The Simpsons
One of five known copies of Hawking’s PhD thesis with an estimated price of £100,000 to £150,000. It was his wife Jane who typed up the thesis and painstakingly added the many mathematical equations by hand. The present photostatic copy is signed by Hawking and includes an equation added in his own hand
The most sought after lot will be one of five known copies of his PhD thesis with an estimated value of £150,000.
While two other competitive lots are his seminal paper on ‘Black hole explosions’ from 1974 and a copy of his best-selling ‘A Brief History of Time’, signed with thumb print.
The last lot of the sale, one of Hawking’s iconic wheelchairs, will be sold to benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
In an hugely exciting sale for admirers of the physicist, who died in March aged 76, medals, awards, signed books and bomber jackets will also go under the hammer from as little as £100
The last lot of the sale, one of Hawking’s iconic wheelchairs, will be sold to benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. This motorised wheelchair from 1988 has an estimated value of between £10,000-£15,000
Hawking initially resisted the idea of using a wheelchair in the late 1960s; by the late 1970s, he was using motorised models like the present example, and was even renowned for being a rather wild driver
Stephen Hawking’s original production script for his final appearance on The Simpsons, 14 December 2009, estimate £2,000-3,000 and Stephen Hawking’s Time Travellers Invitation, October 2013, estimate £100-150
The online sale entitled ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’, takes place between October 31 and November 8.
His daughter, Lucy Hawking, said: ‘We are giving 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.
‘In addition, we will be auctioning one of our father’s historic wheelchairs, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation.’
One of Hawking’s most famous papers, ‘Wave function of the universe’, describes what became known as the ‘no-boundary proposal’. Hawking argued that the universe has no boundary in time in much the same way that the Earth has no edge: time simply loses meaning before the Big Bang, in the same way that you can’t get any farther south than the South Pole
The book has since sold more than 10 million copies, and in many ways set the parameters for public perceptions of science. This edition is ‘signed’ with a thumbprint
Since 1975 when he was awarded the Eddington Medal by the Royal Astronomical Society, Hawking has been highly decorated for his outstanding contributions to science. The large amount of gold present in his medal collection necessitated it being stored in a bank vault
Albert Einstein Medal awarded to late Professor Hawking for his distinguished work as a cosmologist and theoretical physisist
A bomber jacket belonging to Professor Hawkin’s has an estimated value of £150
Thomas Venning, Head of the Books and Manuscripts department, Christie’s London comments: ‘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.
‘The lots selected for sale highlight Professor Hawking’s remarkable achievements in science alongside his unique personality and inspirational life story.
‘The sale concludes with Professor Hawking’s wheelchair, in which he both toured the world as a successful scientific communicator, and from which his mind voyaged to the outer reaches of space-time, making it literally and figuratively one of the most-travelled wheelchairs in history.’
A handwritten page is seen from a copy of the 1965 PhD thesis by Hawking signed ‘This dissertation is my original work. S.W. Hawking’
Hawking made four appearances in The Simpsons over a period of 10 years, something he joked made him more famous than anything he had done in science
Hawking is, above all, associated with the physics of black holes. In this article in Nature in March 1974, he announced that contrary to all previous scientific consensus, black holes would release blackbody radiation, now known as Hawking Radiation