A WHEELCHAIR used by Stephen Hawking has sold for a whopping amount at an online auction of some of the late physicists most prized possessions.
The iconic motorised chair was used by Stephen Hawking after he was paralysed with motor neuron disease.
Stephen Hawking wheelchair sells at action with thesis and Simpsons script | Daily Star
The sale also included the renowned scientist’s doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe and a script from one of his appearances on The Simpsons.
Diagnosed with motor neurone disease at 22, the disease eventually left Professor Hawking almost completely paralysed.
Christie’s auctioneer Thomas Venning said the wheelchair became a symbol not just of disability but of Professor Hawking’s “puckish sense of humour”.
He once ran over Prince Charles’ toes and reportedly joked that he wished he had done the same to former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
Hawkings 1965 thesis on the origins of the universe sold for £584,750, more than three times its pre-sale estimate.
Mr Venning said the papers “trace the development of his thought — this brilliant, electrifying intelligence”.
Proceeds from its sale will go to two charities, the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, said the sale gave “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”.
Other notable items auctioned off included a document signed by Isaac Newton repaying a loan, which sold for £56,250, a letter from Charles Darwin described as his “glowing review of the naturalist’s report on the Challenger expedition”, which sold for £15,000, and a copy of Einstein’s views on Newton, which was once owned by the former’s son and sold for £13,750.
Last month a recording made by Professor Hawking warning of the dangers posed by Brexit and Donald Trump was broadcast at the launch for his final book.
In the message from “beyond the grave” he cited the election of Mr Trump and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union as part of “a global revolt against experts, and that includes scientists”.
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.
Some of his belongings including essays, medals, awards and a copy of his book a "Brief History of Time" signed with a thumbprint were sold online on Thursday alongside letters and manuscripts belonging to Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.
Hawkings 117-page dissertation "Properties of expanding universes" from 1965 sold for £584,750, well ahead of the estimate of up to 150,000.
Medals and awards sold for £296,750, compared with an estimate of £15,000, while the red motorised wheelchair sold for £296,750, also compared with an estimate of £15,000.
Auction house Christies ran the nine-day online auction called "On the Shoulders of Giants" to raise money for the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
It also offered fans of the physicist known for his electronic voice synthesiser a chance to buy some of his possessions.
"Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide. He had this amazing ability to connect with people," Thomas Venning, head of the Books and Manuscripts department at auction house Christies London, told Reuters ahead of the event.