Stephen Hawking's motorized wheelchair is up for auction

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Stephen Hawking's motorized wheelchair is up for auction

Christie's, a global auctioneer headquartered in London, is selling several of Hawking's papers, including his dissertation, thesis on the origins of the universe and his spectrum of wormholes.

Only five copies of the Ph.D. thesis exist - although a digital copy was made available online for free by Cambridge University Library's Open Access Week past year.

The sale also features "a remarkable" collection of souvenirs from the late Professor Hawking-including the original typescript of his thesis, a selection medals and awards, and a signed copy of A Brief History of Time. The document was signed with shaky handwriting, as Hawking finished it after beginning to show symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which eventually left him paralyzed.

Remembering renowned physicist and author Stephen Hawking in his own words. Pieces will be on display in London, and officially for sale October 31 through November 8.

"Stephen Hawking's rather mischievous attitude to piloting his wheelchair became legendary", according to the lot description."Having run over Prince Charles' toes during a meeting in 1977, he is said to have regretted not doing the same to the then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher".

Among the items up for bid is an original script for Hawking's 2010 appearance on the "Elementary School Musical" episode of The Simpsons, one of four guest stops Hawking made as himself - much to Lisa's delight - in Springfield.

Thomas Venning, head of books and manuscripts at Christie's, told the Associated Press that these papers "trace the development of his thought-this brilliant, electrifying intelligence".

Image Christie’s
Image Christie’s

Hawking was diagnosed at age 22, just after starting his doctoral studies, and doctors initially said he would only live a few more years.

Its motor was manufactured by Penny & Giles Drives Technology and the chair comes with one metal footrest and a leather-covered cushion support.

Christie's hopes to fetch between £10,000 and £15,000 for it during the sale which opens on October 31.

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".

Proceeds from the wheelchair's sale will be donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and The Stephen Hawking Foundation.

Prof Hawking died at his Cambridge home on March 14, aged 76.

In addition to publishing numerous scientific papers, Hawking wrote books, and his popular "A Brief History of Time" will be at the auction.

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