The personal possessions of the late physicist Stephen Hawkings were sold at an online auction and raised $1.8 million.
Among the items sold during the nine-day sale in London was his wheelchair, a signed copy of his Ph.D. thesis at Cambridge University, a script during his appearance on The Simpsons, and many more. Proceeds will go to The Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Over $2 Million Raised During Auction
A total of 22 items were sold during the online auction. Christie’s, a London-based auctioneer, handled the sale, which was first announced back in October.
The item that fetched the most expensive price tag is Professor Hawking’s thesis titled “Properties of Expanding Universes.” It was sold for $760,000.
The world-changing doctoral thesis was signed by Hawking. Only five copies of the thesis exist in the world, although digital copies have been made available to the public for free.
The second most expensive item in the collection is the beloved physicist’s former wheelchair, which raised $390,000. Hawking has been strapped in a wheelchair for most of his life because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS.
The Simpsons script, meanwhile, was sold for around $8,100. Hawking has made cameos in the long-running show throughout its 30-year run. Most notably, the renowned physicist voiced himself in the Season 10 episode “They Saved Lisa’s Brain.”
Other items in the collection also sold for two thousand pounds each. His various medals and awards raised a total of £296,750 or about $390,000. A signed copy of his worldwide best-seller A Brief History of Time sold for £68,750 or almost $90,000.
The auction also included possessions of Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein. Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, oversaw the auction.
Stephen Hawking’s Death
After a long and tough battle with ALS, Professor Hawking passed away on March 14, 2018, in his home in Cambridge. He was 76 years old.
He was buried between Darwin and Newton at the Westminster Abbey in London.