A rare and exceptional example of the first Apple computer – the Apple 1 – sold today at Christie’s for £133,250 / $212,267 / €156,169. The first personal computer with a fully assembled motherboard, the Apple 1 heralded the home computer revolution. Only about 200 examples are believed to have been produced, and the present example was sold at auction by a private collector complete with original box, instruction manuals and a signed letter from Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. The other prominent co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, who designed and constructed the Apple 1, attended the auction. It was acquired by Marco Boglione, a private Italian collector.
A further highlight of the sale was an ‘Enigma’ machine, the cipher machine widely used by the German army in World War II, which sold for £67,250 / $107,129 / €78,817. It was underbid by an internet bidder via Christie’s LIVE and acquired by a client bidding by telephone.
Julian Wilson, specialist for Books and Manuscripts, Christie’s London: “At today’s auction, we saw people studying the sale catalogue on their ‘ipads’ using the Christie’s app while the auctioneer took online bids through Christie’s LIVE; it is a fitting illustration of how computers have revolutionised the world to have sold an Apple 1computer as an historic relic in Christie’s salerooms. This is the first time that an Apple 1 has been sold at a major international auction, and we are thrilled with the global interest and enthusiasm that we saw leading up to the sale, and with the price realised by this rare and exceptional piece of computing history.”
Related Departments Books & Manuscripts
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in the first half of 2014 that totaled £2.69 / $4.47 billion, making it the highest half year total in Christie’s history. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery. Private sales in the first half of 2014 totalled £498.9 million ($828.2 million).
Christie’s has a global presence with 53 offices in 32 countries and 12 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.
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