Late physicist Stephen Hawking's wheelchair, thesis auction for over $1mn

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While the chair was expected to sell somewhere between £10,000 and £15,000, the ultimate price was nearly £300,000 (almost $392,000).

All the proceeds from the sale of the chair will benefit the Motor Neurone Disease Association and The Stephen Hawking Foundation.

A bidder also spent more than US$760,000 - more than double the expectation - on Prof Hawking's signed 1965 PhD thesis, Properties of Expanding Universes, about the origins of time and space.

As previously reported, the stroller, and many other things scientific figure, was presented in the form of lots on the popular auction Christie's. Hawking has become one of the most famous theoretical physicists of our time. After he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, when he was 21, doctors only gave him a few years to live.

"By the late 1980s he was at the height of his fame, and given his extensive travels to conferences and public events, as well as the scope of his intellectual explorations of space-time, this is arguably both literally and metaphorically the most-traveled wheelchair in history".

Some of his belongings including essays, medals, awards and a copy of his book a "Brief History of Time" signed with a thumbprint were sold online on Thursday alongside letters and manuscripts belonging to Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

It was among 22 items on offer from Prof Hawking's estate in an online auction that began Oct 31.

There was also a collection of his medals and awards available to prospective buyers, and they went for £296,750.

"Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide", Thomas Venning, head of the Books and Manuscripts department at auction house Christie's London, told Reuters prior to the auction.

Image: This Simpsons script - an episode that featured Professor Hawking - sold for £6,250.

The physicist's daughter, Lucy, said Christie's had been helping the family & "manage our beloved father's unique and precious collection of personal and professional belongings".

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