Stephen Hawking's wheelchair auctioned for a whopping $393,000

Stephen Hawking's wheelchair auctioned for a whopping $393,000

Stephen Hawking's wheelchair auctioned for a whopping $393,000

A motorised wheelchair used by the late British physicist Stephen Hawking sold at auction on Thursday for nearly £300,000 with the proceeds going to charity.

It was expected to fetch £150,000 but interest from across the world saw it reach nearly four times that amount.

A collection of his medals and awards, including honours from the Royal Astronomical Society, sold for £296,750, with the entire collection achieving £1,384,625.

Hawking's items were sold by Christie's, a British auction house, as part of "On the Shoulders of Giants".

The same price of £296,750 was achieved by Hawking's earliest existing motorized wheelchair, which he used extensively during the global book tour for his 1988 best-seller A Brief History of Time.

Famed for his work exploring the origins of the universe, Hawking died in March at the age of 76 after spending most of his life confined to a wheelchair with motor neurone disease.

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In addition to chairs were sold dissertation Hawking in 1965, "properties of expanding Universes". Hawking's items all combined sold for about $1,306,275 at the auction.

Other items put up in sale were a collection of his medals and awards, essays, his book "A Brief History of Time".

A script for his appearance on The Simpsons sold for £6,250. 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.

In total, the auction included 52 lots and raised around $2.35 million.

According to The Guardian, Hawking's children plan to donate the rest of their father's estate to the nation as part of the "acceptance in lieu" scheme, which allows one to transfer objects of artistic or historical value into public ownership to pay down inheritance tax.

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