Christie’s Auctioning Hawking’s Items

Several possessions of the late physicist’s Stephen Hawking will be included in an upcoming auction at Christie’s, the famed auction house.

Included among the items belonging to the iconic scientist will be one of his wheelchairs, one of five copies of his Cambridge University Ph.D. thesis “Properties of Expanding Universes,” and a script from one of his appearances on the television show “The Simpsons.”

At age 22, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, just as he was beginning his doctoral work at Cambridge.

Thomas Venning, head of books and manuscripts at Christie’s, said Hawking was so despondent over the diagnosis that he “gave up his studies for a time.”

Hawking, however, returned to school, Venning said, and his thesis “was the fruit of his reapplying himself to his scientific work.” Hawking kept his thesis beside him for the rest of his life, according to Venning.

Hawking was one of the few scientists who have reached celebrity status. He is probably best known for his best-selling book “A Brief History of Time” and for his appearances on “The Simpsons.”

His daughter Lucy said the auction gives “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.”

The physicist’s children hope to preserve his scientific archive.

The Associated Press reports that Christie’s is handling negotiations to hand over the archive to British authorities in lieu of inheritance tax.

Hawking’s items will be featured in a science sale that also includes papers by Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

Hawking’s items will be on display for several days in London, beginning October 30.

Hawking died in March at age 76.

 

 

 

 

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