Christie’s auction On the Shoulders of Giants is now open for bidding until 8 November. This online auction pays tribute to four brilliant minds - Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking - whose discoveries have shaped our understanding of the universe. Lots range from a manuscript by Newton exploring his fascination with alchemy to letters by Darwin discussing natural selection and an offprint of Einstein’s great paper on general relativity. The sale concludes with a remarkable group of lots from the estate of Professor Stephen Hawking, including the original typescript of his thesis, a selection of his medals and awards, and a signed (with a thumbprint) copy of A Brief History of Time. The final lot of the sale, a wheelchair used by Hawking, is sold to benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
This auction is inspired by the success of Christie’s Letters to a Friend auction series in 2017-18, which presented three online-only sales of Einstein autograph material, offered from a single-owner collection. These sales saw £2.75 million realised, 100% of the lots sold and record prices set across the board for Einstein autograph material. On the Shoulders of Giants seeks to bring more high-quality scientific material before the public to build upon the success in this field.
With prices ranging from £100 to £150,000, this sale offers new and established collectors an opportunity to acquire important manuscripts and personal items of these four legendary scientists.
The sale can be accessed directly here.