Stephen Hawking's thesis and wheelchair fetch much more than expected at auction


US-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).

"Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide", Thomas Venning, head of the Books and Manuscripts department at auction house Christie's London, told Reuters prior to the auction.

Holy wow. What's awesome about this isn't just the price, but the fact that the auction was essentially for charity, with proceeds going to the Stephen Hawking Foundation as well as the Motor Neurone Disease Association, both of which were causes that Hawking cared deeply about.

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

The sale, which was held online by the auction house on Thursday, collected more than $1.8 million, breaking past pre-sale expectations, according to AFP.

His dissertation of 117 pages named "Properties of expanding universes" was sold for 584,750 pounds.

He died in March at the age of 76.

A copy of his bestselling "A Brief History of Time", signed with a thumbprint, sold for over $89,000.

When the document was made available online a year ago by Cambridge University, where Hawking spent his career, it was so popular that it crashed the website.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.

In addition to Hawking's personal documents and items, an original production script for Stephen Hawking's final appearance on The Simpsons - in which he was portrayed as a disc jockey with gold chains and a Kangol hat - also sold £6250 ($11,260).