Christie’s Auction: Hawking, Newton, Darwin and Einstein

Taylor Loughry, Staff Writer

You have probably heard of the famous Stephen Hawking. He was a scientist, author and professor who conducted some groundbreaking research. Unfortunately, at age 21, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with ALS which is a form of motor neuron disease. In a way, this disease led him to live a more determined, work-focused life and lead him to many of the discoveries and achievements that he made.

Unfortunately, Stephen Hawking recently died on Mar. 14, 2018 due to his disease, and Christie’s, a famous auction company, is now auctioning off some of his prized possessions.

If you haven’t already heard of Christie’s, it is a famous British auction company founded in 1766 by James Christie holding extravagant auctions with unique and beautiful pieces where prices can go all the way up to $100 million. Christie’s holds around 350 auctions per year ranging from different categories like arts, photographs, collectibles and so much more.

This auction involving Stephen Hawking is being held online Oct. 31 through Nov. 8. This auction category itself focuses on Hawking along with these other famous, influential people: Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. Click here to check it out.

The highest current bid so far is Lot 31: “This dissertation is my original work” by Stephen Hawking. This is one of five known copies of Hawking’s PhD thesis. This lot’s current bid is at GPB 70,000 (USD 88,200), but is estimated to be anywhere between GPB 100,000 to GPB 150,000 (USD 126,000 to USD 189,000).

The second highest current bid so far is Lot 52: a motorized BEC Mobility wheelchair. This wheelchair is the earliest surviving example of a wheelchair used by Stephen Hawking. This lot’s current bid is at GBP 22,000 (USD 27,720). This lot has already surpassed its estimated bid which was GBP 10,000 to GBP 15,000 (USD 12,600 to USD 18,900).

The third highest current bid so far is Lot 25: “Great and noble things come from isolated figures” by Albert Einstein. This is Einstein expressing the individual as a creative force with an autograph manuscript. This lot’s current bid is at GBP 18,000 (USD 22,680). This lot is right at its estimate bid of GBP 18,000 to GBP 25,000 (USD 22,680 to USD 31,500).

After mentioning the highest current bids, these are the highest estimated bids at the conclusion of the auction. As mentioned above, Lot 31: “This dissertation is my original work” by Stephen Hawking, was estimated to generate the most revenue and be the highest bid of the auction.

Next to that is Lot 1: Newton's fascination with alchemy. This includes Isaac Newton’s autograph manuscript, notes, and extracts from the “Turba philosophorum” with an estimated bidding price at GBP 80,000 to GBP 100,000 (USD 100,800 to USD 126,000). This one, however, does not have any current bids yet.

Also having no current bids at the moment is the third highest estimated bid which is Lot 8: Defending the principle of natural selection. This is an autographed letter signed by Charles Darwin about natural selection. There is an estimated bidding price of GBP 15,000 to GBP 25,000 (USD 18,900 to USD 31,500)

Keeping in mind that this auction is still going on, there could be more bidding and unexpected high revenues. This is just what is happening as of right now with this particular auction and the current and estimated bids for items of Newton, Darwin, Einstein and Hawking.