Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, papers smash auction estimates

Some of the most prized possessions of late British physicist Stephen Hawking, including a copy of his Ph.D thesis and an early wheelchair, have sold for much more than expected["ad-manager-75851"]= {"custom_css":"","ad_details":[{"min_width":"","max_width":"","dfp_ad_sizes":[{"dfp_ad_width":"300","dfp_ad_height":"250"}]}],"ad_id":75851,"ad_container":"div-ad-manager-75851","ad_placement":"in-article","ad_name":"ad-manager-75851","position":"in_article","article_position":1};

Other personal belongings included a bomber jacket, which fetched $52,200 (£40,000) and a collection of his medals, which went for $387,360 (£296,750).

Perhaps more surprising, among some of Hawking’s possessions was a script from an episode of “The Simpsons,” which raised $8,160 (£6,250).

“Stephen Hawking made four appearances in The Simpsons over a period of 10 years, something he joked made him more famous than anything he had done in science,” said Christie’s on its website. “A small plastic model of his yellow Simpsons incarnation had pride of place in his house.” This particular episode was aired on September 26, 2010.

“We are very pleased to have the assistance of Christie’s to help us with the important matter of managing our beloved father’s archives and his unique and precious collection of personal and professional belongings, chronicling his life and work,” said his daughter Lucy Hawking in a statement before the lot took place.

She said the auction would give “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.”