Stephen Hawking's wheelchair and thesis sold at auction

Stephen Hawking could be in the running to appear on the new £50

Stephen Hawking could be in the running to appear on the new £50

A copy of Stephen Hawking s doctorate thesis signed in a shaky hand was the highlight of an auction of the British physicist s personal items in London, which raised almost £1.4 million ($1.8 million, 1.6 million euros).

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".

The same price of £296,750 was achieved by Hawking's earliest existing motorized wheelchair, which he used extensively during the worldwide book tour for his 1988 best-seller A Brief History of Time. Proceeds will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which facilitates research into cosmology and astrophysics, as well as the Motor Neurone Disease Association, supporting research and campaigning for those living with the disease.

The wheelchair raised $387,480 (£296,750), nearly 20 times more than pre-auction estimates of up to $19,500 (£15,000). Hawking's dissertation was the single most expensive item.

Hawking, who was also a cosmologist, astronomer, mathematician and a prolific author, died in March at age 76.

Personal effects of Stephen Hawking, including a signed copy of his 1965 PhD thesis, have raised more than £1.8m at auction.

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The red wheelchair was used by Prof Hawking during the late 1980s and early 90s; he stopped using it when he could no longer steer it with his hands.

The second-highest price of Hawking's collection was achieved by a selection of medals and awards presented throughout his career, which sold for £296,750 ($388,970).

Medals and awards sold for £296,750, compared with an estimate of £15,000, while the red motorized wheelchair sold for £296,750, also compared with an estimate of £15,000.

The Simpsons script, meanwhile, was sold for around $8,100.

One of his most famous works was his landmark book a "A Brief History of Time", which sold more than 10 million copies. "A small plastic model of his yellow Simpsons incarnation had pride of place in his house".

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