Stephen Hawking Wheelchair...and more!

We’ve talked before about things for sale that are in bad taste. I’m not sure if this would in that category but...Christie’s has 22 items from late genius Stephen Hawking, including his wheelchair! Now, I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe; mostly because my thesis on the subject has a few flaws and I’d like to compare notes.

Anyway, there is a book, scripts (including one from “The Simpsons”), as well as personal and academic possessions.

I’m wondering if the scientific papers “Spectrum of Wormholes” or “Fundamental Breakdown of Physics in Gravitational Collapse” will be purchased by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Hawking died in March, at the age of 76. An amazingly long life, considering at 22, he was just given a few years to live because of his ALS. .

The thesis is expected to get around $150,000, and it’s signed by Hawking, as well as containing his handwritten notes.

The high-tech wheelchair is expected to get around $15,000.

The auction is going to start on Halloween night -- October 31st, and just so you don’t think it’s too ghoulish, the proceeds from these sales will go to two charities -- the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. And his daughter Lucy is behind the auction, stating “admirers of his work will have the chance to acquire a memento of our father’s extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items.”

If Hawking wasn’t your favorite scientist, the auction will also have papers by Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Charles Darwin.

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Comment by BG Meadows on October 23, 2018 at 4:31pm

 I can't put my finger on it, but there's something creepy about owning his wheelchair. I put that in the category of "clothing." I would never want to own anything worn by a famous person. I'm just odd that way. 

Comment by B. Anderson on October 23, 2018 at 8:52pm

Some wheelchairs are very expensive, and I would hope he had the best. It is possible someone could buy and use it. That is what I would hope would happen, rather than a collector, perhaps a fan who could use it. It is perfectly natural to resell or give away expensive medical equipment after someone has passed. If you are not wheelchair-bound and purchase it, that is kind of disturbing, but I see nothing wrong with someone buying it if they will make use of him and can honor his memory in the process.

Unfortunately, I suspect someone likely will buy it with the thought of making money off of it. It really should go to someone who could actually use it.

As to Meadows' comment, I think someone people like to collect costumes, which could include more formal wear that someone where's when they are "on," as for special TV appearances, etc., as opposed to everyday clothing. I think collecting costumes is fine, if you are into it and can store it well, but otherwise if it is just everyday clothing, I do not see the point, unless you just want to wear it yourself.

Comment by Josh Board on October 23, 2018 at 9:53pm

Speaking of Hawking wheelchairs, so...I have a job doing movie reviews. At a film festival, I was on a panel with a few other film critics (Leonard Maltin, Joe Morgenstein). So, after we did our speaking engagement, a woman approached me. She asked what I thought of the Stephen Hawking movie (Eddie Redmayne, I believe...won an Oscar for it). I told her it was okay, but I didn't love it. I said, "All I really learned about Hawking from watching that was...every decade, his glasses and wheelchairs changed." 

There was a bit of a pause, and she smiled and said, "I was the producer of that movie."


Comment by BG Meadows on October 24, 2018 at 5:52am

I guess I should have included the exception of costumes in my comment about not wanting to own a famous person's personal clothing. 

Right now on eBay, there is a pair of JFK's tennis shorts up for auctions. Also, a pair of Jack Ruby's pants are available. Several years ago, I remember seeing one of JFK's tux shirts for auction. 

As much as I like JFK, I would not want his tennis shorts or Jack Ruby's pants. 

The only personal clothing I've ever bought didn't belong to a famous person. Rather it was a captain's USMC uniform that still had the mourning armband on the coat sleeve worn during the period of mourning for JFK. It was part of an estate sale. 

Comment by Robert Babb on October 27, 2018 at 10:03am

sorry josh I would rather have a signed bat mobile in stead! nice story!


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