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Stephen Hawking's motorized wheelchair is up for auction

The late physicist was "renowned for being a rather wild driver," auction house Christie's notes.

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Gael Cooper
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Christie's auction house is selling a variety of items owned by the late physicist Stephen Hawking, including one of his motorized wheelchairs.

Christie's

Items belonging to the late physicist Stephen Hawking, including one of his earliest motorized wheelchairs, will be put up for auction beginning on Halloween.

"Hawking initially resisted the idea of using a wheelchair in the late 1960s; by the late 1970s, he was using motorized models like the present example, and was even renowned for being a rather wild driver," auction house Christie's said in a statement shared on its website. "This is arguably both literally and metaphorically the most-traveled wheelchair in history." 

Proceeds from the wheelchair's sale will be donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and The Stephen Hawking Foundation. It's estimated to sell for $13,000-$19,000 (£10,000-15,000, AU$18,000-$27,000).

Other items related to Hawking that will be part of the sale include one of five copies of his Ph.D. thesis, a script from an episode of The Simpsons that he appeared in, a personalized bomber jacket, and a copy of his bestseller A Brief History of Time, signed with Hawking's thumbprint.

The Hawking items will be part of a larger science-themed sale that includes papers belonging to Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. Hawking's ashes are buried in Westminster Abbey near those of Darwin and Newton.

The auction items can be viewed online and will go on display in London on Oct. 30. Bidding begins Oct. 31 and ends Nov. 8.

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