Days after legendary physicist Stephen Hawking's final paper was published, a great number of his prized possessions will go up for auction, including some of his most important papers, including his doctoral thesis, a copy of "A Brief History of Time" and the script for one of his appearances on "The Simpsons".
Christie's of London will open bidding on a trove of fascinating, historic, and just plain cool items from Hawking's private collection, including recognizable pieces of his formative past that, for longtime followers and fans, have become as much a part of his identity as his groundbreaking work in quantum mechanics.
The physicist, who lived and worked in Cambridge, died in March, aged 76.
Among the items is an original copy of Hawking's Ph.D. thesis from the University of Cambridge, entitled "Properties of Expanding Universes", which is expected to sell for between $126,000 and $189,000. At the time, Hawking had already been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or colloquially known as Lou Gehrig's Disease).
The disease left Hawking paralyzed and using a wheelchair for mobility. The wheelchair, estimated to be worth between $13,000 and $19,500, is included in the sale.
Twenty-two lots will be up for auction between October 31 and November 8 in an online Christie's auction known as "On the Shoulders of Giants". In 1977, for example, Prince Charles reportedly got his toes crushed beneath Hawking's wheelchair, and the scientist joked that he regretfully did not get a chance to run over Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's feet as well. The thesis is signed by Hawking: "This dissertation is my original work, S.W. Hawking".
Its motor was manufactured by Penny & Giles Drives Technology and the chair comes with one metal footrest and a leather-covered cushion support.
The auction includes a copy of Hawking's famous book "A Brief History of Time" with his fingerprint. Months after the cosmic visionary passed away, the online auction and private sales organization announced its science sale that will also feature papers by prominent scientists Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein.