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Steve Jobs signed Apple founding contract auctions 'for $150,000' at Sotheby's

A 1976 manuscript signed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs could bring $150,000 in Sotheby's auction

Times they are a' changin'... Today's collectible manuscript markets are dominated by such treasured letters as Henry VIII's signed personal divorce plea (you can read more about our offered sale of this rare item here)...

But perhaps the future collectibles markets will also be dominated by rare iPods or iPads? Or maybe the founding partnership agreement of the Apple Computer Company? Sotheby's is auctioning the latter - an original three-page agreement manuscript - on December 13 in New York.


Media mogul: Steve Jobs signed the
Apple contract back in 1976

The contract was signed by the recently-deceased Steve Jobs and his partners Steve Wozniak and Ronald G. Wayne on April 1, 1976.

This autographed contract established Apple Computer Co, which later pioneered today's gadgets like the iPhone and iPad. According to reports, this hallowed Apple manuscript will hit the auction block in New York on December 13. The signed contract is predicted to bring $100,000-150,000 in Sotheby's sale.

Apple created a revolution in technology, business, personal computing and - arguably - the world. This manuscript dates to 1976 and, being a contract, has great provenance having once belonged to Apple co-founder Ron Wayne.

Jobs met Wayne while the pair worked on the night shift at Atari, the computer manufacturer. Wayne was 41 and had started a business that later failed. As Jobs later told his biographer Walter Isaacson: "Ron was an amazing guy. He started companies. I had never met anyone like that."

Sotheby's has rightly billed the piece as the "first chapter in the story of one of America's most important companies."

It will reportedly sell with the agreement documenting Ron Wayne's remarkable withdrawal from Apple for just $800. Despite the multi-billion success later enjoyed by Apple, Wayne claims to have never regretted his decision to leave the company for just $800.

"I've never regretted pulling out. I'm as enamoured by money as anyone else, but I knew that it was going to be a considerable strain … it was like having a tiger by the tail," he told Bloomberg earlier this year.

Steve Jobs signed this manuscript alongside Steve Wozniak and Ronald G. Wayne

Both rare manuscripts will be offered as a single lot in Sotheby's Fine Books and Manuscripts auction, against Sotheby's $100,000-150,000 pre-sale estimate.

This sale won't be the first time Apple's legacy has netted six figures on the auction block. In late 2010, the world's first Apple computer brought $210,000.

First launched in 1976 from a suburban garage, the "Apple-1" was one of just 200 ever made and sold at Sotheby's rival Christie's in an auction of historical computers. Now, this historic Apple contract could enjoy similar success.

Recent and related articles

  'Superman's typewriter' used by creator Jerry Siegel sells at ComicConnect | 27 October 2011

  Collectors take a byte: the world's first Apple computer sells for $210,000 | 24 November 2010

  The world's most expensive Apple will set you back £150,000 | 13 November 2010

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Last updated: 29 November 2011