Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Wheelchair Hawking will auction - determined starting price

Stephen Hawking wheelchair thesis up for sale	 	 	 			Scientist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76 Stephen Hawking wheelchair thesis up for sale Scientist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76
Frank Williams | 24 October, 2018, 14:15

Christie's announced on Monday that starting October 31, they'll be holding an online auction, titled, "On the Shoulders of Giants", featuring 22 items from the late world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking.

The 22-lot sale includes one of Hawking's wheelchairs, a bomber jacket, a copy of his bestselling A Brief History of Time (1988) signed with a thumbprint, one original copy of his Ph.D thesis, and a selection of his medals and awards. The motorised BEC Mobility wheelchair, used by the late cosmologist from the late-1980s to the mid-1990s, is alone expected to fetch 15,000 pounds.

Most of the Hawking items in the collection are part of a larger sale that includes artifacts belonging to other titans of western physics: Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein. Hawking was already suffering with the early symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when he wrote his doctoral thesis in October 1965. The dissertation was signed by Hawking in his shaky handwriting because of the illness.

"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-traveled wheelchairs in history", says Thomas Venning, head of the books and manuscripts department at Christie's London. Its pre-sale estimated value is between $12,600 and $18,900.

The cosmic visionary was diagnosed with motor neuron disease at 22 and was given just a few years to live.

Mission to Mercury: Blast-off for UK-built spacecraft BepiColombo
More than 30 years later, NASA launched Messenger , the first spacecraft to successfully orbit and map Mercury's surface. It's hoped their parallel observations can finally resolve some of the many puzzles about the hot, oddball planet.

Among the items up for bid is an original script for Hawking's 2010 appearance on the "Elementary School Musical" episode of The Simpsons, one of four guest stops Hawking made as himself - much to Lisa's delight - in Springfield.

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. A Brief History of Time would go on to sell more than 10 million copies, and each one came with Sagan's full endorsement: he authored the book's introduction.

His daughter Lucy said the sale gave "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".

Documents and files by Stephen Hawking the personal and academic possessions of Stephen Hawking at the auction house Christie.

After Hawking passed away in March this year at the age of 76, "The Simpsons" paid tribute to the renowned physicist.

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