A Blog by Jonathan Low

 

Oct 26, 2018

Stephen Hawking's Wheelchair, Papers Put Up For Auction

To benefit his foundation. Because they're wildly original and cool. And, most of all,  because they were his. JL

Jacey Fortin reports in the New York Times:

Most of the lots are what you might expect from renowned physicists and biologists: scientific papers, friendly correspondences and portraits. But Dr. Hawking, the most contemporary of the bunch, also left behind some more personal items including a black bomber jacket, the script from an episode of The Simpsons on which he appeared, and a red, motorized leather-backed wheelchair that he used in the 1980s and 90s.
In 2009, the physicist and author Stephen W. Hawking gave a party for time travelers.
Invitations were not made public until after the event. They were meant to last long enough to reach future humans who might develop the opportunity to time-travel back to the party. Perhaps they didn’t — or won’t — work: Video footage from the party showed Dr. Hawking surrounded by champagne, snacks and balloons, sitting all alone.
Now, you can buy one of those invitations, or at least make an offer. It is one of nearly two dozen items from the estate of Dr. Hawking, who died in March at age 76, that will go up for auction next week.
Starting Oct. 31, they will be for sale as part of a Christie’s online auction featuring items that belonged to Dr. Hawking and three other famous scientists: Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.


Image
Several of Stephen Hawking’s works are being auctioned online by Christie’s in London.CreditFrank Augstein/Associated Press


Most of the lots are what you might expect from renowned physicists and biologists: scientific papers, friendly correspondences and portraits. But Dr. Hawking, the most contemporary of the bunch, also left behind some more personal items including a black bomber jacket, the script from an episode of The Simpsons on which he appeared, and a red, motorized leather-backed wheelchair that he used in the 1980s and 90s.
Dr. Hawking, who spent most of his life steadily losing control over his muscles because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, had to stop using the red wheelchair after he lost the ability to steer it with his hands. Its estimated price at auction is between $12,600 and $18,900.
Proceeds from the sale of the wheelchair will benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Dr. Hawking’s daughter, Lucy Hawking, said in a statement. Proceeds from his other lots will go to his estate.
Ms. Hawking described the items as a “unique and precious collection of personal and professional belongings,” spanning her father’s life and work.


One of the highlights of the auction will be Dr. Hawking’s Ph.D. thesis, composed in 1965 and typed by his wife, Jane Wilde Hawking. Called “Properties of expanding universes,” it is about the origins of time and space as we know it.
The dissertation was signed twice by its author. Another item, a 1988 copy of his best-selling book, “A Brief History of Time,” is marked with his thumbprint as a signature.

0 comments:

Post a Comment