Lot 8073: Signed book: The Archaeology of the Industrial Revolution. First edition, first printing. London: Heinemann Educational Publishers, 1973. Hardcover with dust jacket, 9 x 11.25, 207 pages. Signed by Hawking in blue ballpoint, along with 15 other colleagues in various inks, as a presentation to a faculty member. The inscription in one colleague's hand reads, "With gratitude and best wishes, from the friends of the IOA computer staff." Autographic condition is fine; book condition is VG+/VG. Accompanied by a letter of provenance from the original recipient, reading: "The book was a gift to me in 1973 on leaving a job as a computer operator at the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy at Cambridge University where Stephen Hawking also worked as a research scientist."In 1968, Hawking joined the staff of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, where he remained until 1973. This became the site of some of his most important early scientific breakthroughs in the study of singularities and black holes. At the end of his tenure at the Institute of Astronomy, Hawking published his first book, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, a highly technical work exploring the foundation of space itself and its nature of infinite expansion. This period also marked Hawking's physical deterioration from ALS, and he would soon lose his ability to walk and write; by 1975 he was confined to a wheelchair. Hawking autographs are of the utmost rarity, with this rare example exhibiting ironclad provenance.
RR Auction's Remarkable Rarities Auction 461
Monday, 28th September 2015
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