The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, September 21, 2019

Hawking's signed thesis, wheelchair auctioned in London
A gallery assistant poses with a copy of the picture shows the book 'A Brief History of Time' by theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking signed with a thumbprint with an estimate price of GBP £2,000-£3,000 GBP during a photocall for the sale of personal items from Hawking's estate at Christie's auction house in London on October 30, 2018. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP. by Alice Ritchie

LONDON (AFP).- A copy of Stephen Hawking's doctorate thesis signed in a shaky hand was unveiled Tuesday as the highlight of a new auction of the British physicist's personal items in London.

One of Hawking's wheelchairs, an early edition of his bestselling book "A Brief History of Time" marked with a thumbprint, and a script from one of his appearances on the television series "The Simpsons" are also among the 22 lots on sale at Christie's auction house.

The collection highlights the brilliance, determination and sense of humour of Hawking, who died in March aged 76 after a lifetime spent trying to unlock the secrets of the universe.

Hawking published his thesis in 1965, two years after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor-neurone disease that would eventually leave him paralysed.

His first wife Jane typed out the 117 pages but he added two hand-written signatures and the words "This dissertation is my original work" at the front, as well as several mathematical equations inside.

The copy, one of only five originals of the thesis entitled "Properties of expanding universes", is the top priced item in the auction valued at £100,000-£150,000 ($128,000-$191,000, 112,000-168,000 euros).

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

Another auction highlight is a red leather wheelchair which Hawking used from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s, driving himself using a joystick, priced at £10,000-£15,000.

"Famously he was quite a dangerous driver. He ran over Prince Charles' feet when they met," Thomas Venning, Christie's head of books and manuscripts, told AFP.

Time traveller party
He noted that the items put on sale by the family revealed "the progression of his illness but also the way that he overcame it".

"They range from some of his really important science to some fun stuff that reflects his quirky personality," he said.

There are Hawking's own copies of some of his most important scientific articles, including his seminal 1974 work that predicted black holes would release radiation, estimated at £3,000-£5,000.

But there is also an invitation he sent out to a party held several years previously, a light-hearted experiment to see if any time travellers would turn up. It is priced at £100-£150.

As Hawking's health deteriorated, he could no longer write, and a 1988 copy of "A Brief History of Time", priced at £2,000-£3,000, is marked with a thumbprint on the inside page.

The auction also contains a 2009 production script for "The Simpsons", the hit US show in which Hawking appeared several times, estimated at £2,000-£3,000.

His lines, which he programmed into the computer he used to speak after losing his voice, are highlighted in yellow.

Venning said there had already been huge interest from around the world for the auction, which will take place online from October 31 to November 8.

"He was someone who people connected with across the world," he said.

"It will be a range of people (who bid) but what they will have in common is a passion for science, and there will be people who are inspired by Stephen Hawking's story."

Other items include medals and awards, and a bomber jacket Hawking wore in a 2016 documentary.

The items are only a small selection from Hawking's archive, which his family is donating to the nation in lieu of paying inheritance tax, although there are no details yet of where it will be stored.

The auction funds will go to the family although the money raised from selling the wheelchair will be donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

November 1, 2018

Exhibition of masterpieces from the State Hermitage Museum opens in Sydney

Finnish couple jailed over 13 mn euro art forgery scam

Rare Qing Dynasty jade washer emerges from English private collection

Dia brings Andy Warhol's Shadows to New York City

Kasmin opens exhibition of works from the collection of John Ashbery

Seattle Art Museum Director and CEO Kimerly Rorschach to retire fall 2019

Hawking's signed thesis, wheelchair auctioned in London

New lease of life for Portugal's booming ceramics bastion

With rose petals and guns, India inaugurates world's tallest statue

Christie's achieves combined total of $7,520,137 for the African and Oceanic art sales in Paris

Thomas Erben Gallery opens a solo exhibition of works by New York-based painter Harriet Korman

The Block Museum's new graphic identity invites visitors to discover 'What's inside The Block'

Strauss & Co to offer museum quality masterworks by South Africa's leading artists

WeGrow reimagines education with new school designed by BIG

Chinese literary giant dies, aged 94

Marlborough Fine Art opens a solo exhibition by British artist Nina Murdoch

Frankfurter Kunstverein opens the exhibition 'Reconnecting with the World'

Solo showcase of lacquer wares by Tohru Matsuzaki on view at Ippodo Gallery

Neil Armstrong's huge souvenir collection to be auctioned

Sci-Fi & horror typescripts in November 13 auction at Swann

Sculptures by Segal, Haring, and Calder lead Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art sale

200 years of Philadelphia legal history to be auctioned at Freeman's

Toronto Biennial of Art announces preliminary list of artists, partners, and sponsors

Helm Auction, Inc.'s online-only Holidaze! auction includes over 550 lots

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful