Wheelchair Stephen Hawking to be auctioned

Some of the professor's medals and awards were sold. Pic Christie's

A range of personal belongings of British physicist, Stephen Hawking, including his famous motorised red leather wheel chair and a copy of his dissertation thesis have been sold for $1 million in an auction.

Described as "arguably both literally and metaphorically the most-travelled wheelchair in history", the specially-adapted chair had originally been expected to fetch just £15,000.

Those items included a black bomber jacket, the script from an episode of The Simpsons on which he appeared and a 1988 copy of his best-selling book, A Brief History of Time, marked with his thumbprint as a signature.

Christie's said before the nine-day online auction that the items represented the "ultimate triumph of scientific brilliance over adversity" and "Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide".

A signed copy of his 117-page dissertation - one of only five - titled Properties of Expanding Universes from 1965 secured the top price of £584,750.

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Hawking lived most of his life with motor neurone disease, before dying at the age of 76 in March.

The auction also included possessions of Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein.

The sale, run online by Christie's and including 52 lots, raised more than £1.8m on Thursday.

Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking has provided a posthumous windfall for two charities. Proceeds will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which facilitates research into cosmology and astrophysics, as well as the Motor Neurone Disease Association, supporting research and campaigning for those living with the disease.

According to The Guardian, Hawking's children plan to donate the rest of their father's estate to the nation as part of the "acceptance in lieu" scheme, which allows one to transfer objects of artistic or historical value into public ownership to pay down inheritance tax.

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