Bonhams Breaks World Record for Most Expensive Apple Computer
New York—The History of Science auction at Bonhams New York ended with the sale of the Apple-1 computer, which sold for $905,000, almost twice its high estimate, making it the world’s most valuable relic from the computer age.
The winning bid went to a smiling representative from the Henry Ford Museum who triumphantly raised the paddle after battling it out with another interested party on the phone.
Cassandra Hatton, the senior specialist in charge of the auction comments on the success of the sale of the Apple-1, “The provenance on the Apple-1 is excellent and the condition is outstanding, so it was not surprising that it did so well. We are thrilled to have broken the world record for its sale, and are even more thrilled that it is going to a wonderful new home at the Henry Ford Museum.”
In addition to the beautifully intact motherboard, this Apple-1 comes with a vintage keyboard with pre-7400 series military spec chips, a vintage Sanyo monitor, a custom vintage power supply in wooden box, as well as two vintage tape-decks. The lot additionally includes ephemera from the Cincinnati AppleSiders such as their first newsletter “Poke-Apple” from February of 1979 and a video recording of Steve Wozniak’s keynote speech at the 1980 “Applevention.”
The Apple-1 is widely acknowledged as the herald of the personal computer revolution, being the first pre-assembled personal computer ever sold. This example is one of 50 hand-built for the ByteShop by Steve Wozniak in the summer of 1976 in Steve Jobs’ garage (or possibly his sister’s bedroom). At the time, only a handful of people could conceive of how a personal computer might be considered useful, let alone desirable. Now, not even 40 years later, it boggles the imagination to think of life without them.
Hundreds of bidders participated in this auction, a large majority coming from the United States and Europe. The next History of Science sale will be held in October 2015.