Stephen Hawking’s thesis, wheelchair & other belongings to be auctioned


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.

Christie's, a global auctioneer headquartered in London, is selling several of Hawking's papers, including his dissertation, thesis on the origins of the universe and his spectrum of wormholes.

The auction includes one of five existing copies of Hawking's 1965 Cambridge University Ph.D. thesis, "Properties of Expanding Universes", which carries an estimated price of 100,000 pounds to 150,000 pounds ($130,000 to $195,000).

"You can see each advance as he produced it and introduced it to the scientific community", Mr Venning said.

The physicist, who lived and worked in Cambridge, died in March, aged 76.

The thesis "was the fruit of him reapplying himself to his scientific work" after being diagnosed with ALS, Venning said, adding that Hawking "kept it beside him for the rest of his life". "He gave up his studies for a time because he was so despondent".

Hawking's affliction is a disease which causes the death of neurons that control voluntary muscles. Proceeds from the wheelchair will be donated to charities. In his case, the disease's progress was a slow one that didn't kill him in two years after being diagnosed, as doctors claimed, but made him dependant on wheelchairs and voice synthesizers for most of his life.

The auction will also feature a script from one of Hawking's appearances on "The Simpsons" and other scientific papers he published. Meanwhile, Hawking's wheelchairs have become a symbol for his disability.

"He once ran over Prince Charles" toes - and reportedly joked that he wished he had done the same to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher - and appeared in a Monty Python skit running down fellow physicist Brian Cox.

The auction includes a copy of Hawking's famous book "A Brief History of Time" with his fingerprint.

She added: "We hope to be able to offer our father's archive to the nation through the Acceptance in Lieu process as we feel it is a huge part of his legacy but also of the history of science in this country".

Christie's "On the Shoulders of Giants: Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Hawking" opens for bidding on Halloween, and concludes on November 8.

Christie's auction house is gearing up for next week's "On the Shoulders of Giants" event, highlighting the work of Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking.