LONDON – A wheelchair used by the physicistHe sold at auction for almost 300,000 pounds, or $ 393,000, while a copy of his doctoral thesis obtained almost 585,000 pounds ($ 767,000), Christie's auctioneer said on Thursday.
The motorized hip, used by Hawking after it was paralyzed with motor neuron disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease, increased 296,750 pounds at Christie's online auction. It is almost 20 times more than the pre-sale estimate of up to 15,000 pounds.
The products from the sale of the subject will go to two charities, the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Association of Motor Neuron Diseases.
The 1955 University of Cambridge's Hawking thesis, "Properties of expanding universes," sold for 584,750 pounds, more than three times its pre-sale estimate at the online auction.
Hawking transformed our notion of space and time, and the nature of black holes and did everything while being limited to a wheelchair and was deprived of the speech. Born in the English university city of Oxford in 1942, and a student less than stellar at first, Hawking was only 21 years old when he was diagnosed with degenerative nerve disease and told him he had a few years to live.
Hawking lived for many more decades, dying this past March at age 76. The scientific thought has widened over the black holes and the origins of the universe. He became famous in 1988 with the publication of his "Brief History of Time" – one of the best-selling books on science of all time.
Frank Augstein / AP
He even went to the guest star in "The Simpsons". A screenplay of one of his appearances on the animated television show sold for 6,250 pounds in the sale of 22 articles, while a collection of his medals and prizes raised 296,750 pounds.
Hawky's daughter Lucy said the sale gave "admirers of her work the opportunity to acquire a record of the extraordinary life of our father in the form of a small selection of evocative and fascinating elements."
The children of Hawking expect to retain their scientific archive for the nation. Christie is dealing with negotiations to surrender to British authorities instead of inheritance taxes.
Frank Augstein / AP