Apple I auction at Christie's
Apple I auction at Christie's

It sold new, in 1976, for $666.66. Earlier this week, it sold for £133,250—about $213,000—at an auction held by Christie’s of London. “It” is a rare surviving specimen of the Apple I personal computer.

The Christie’s online summary for the item includes a long list of extras:

Apple cassette interface card, numbered 2 in black ink manuscript to obverse and lettered G within triangle in black ink manuscript to reverse; Scotch C-60 cassette with typed printed label ‘BASIC’; Apple-1 Cassette Interface. Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company, (n.d., but 1976). 2 bifolia to form oblong 8° (140 x 216mm). [8pp.] Original company logo of Sir Isaac Newton under the apple tree to upper cover, 2 diagrams, 1 full-page — Apple-1 Operation Manual. Palo Alto: Apple Computer Company, (n.d., but 1976). 4° (280 x 215mm) 12pp. 8 circuit diagrams, 2 on one folding sheet printed recto and verso, one full-page. (Light vertical crease to folding sheet, marginal light pink ink marks to full-page diagram.) Original printed wrappers, stapled, with original company logo to upper wrapper and warranty within decorative border to inside rear wrapper (short split at foot of spine) — double-sided illustrated advertisement sheet with prices — original typed invoice for Apple-1 and Apple cassette interface totaling $741.66 dated 12/7/76, with salesman named as Steven — undated TYPED LETTER SIGNED ‘STEVEN JOBS’ to original owner, on ruled paper, one page folio — typed letter signed by Apple Technical Support Specialist John Fenwick dated 19 January 1982, one page folio.

And yes, all of that comes in the original shipping container, marked “fragile.” Also of note: Christie’s spells one of the Apple founders‘ names correctly. The other is rendered as “Steve Wosniac.” We’re sure Woz didn’t mind.


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke (Twitter: @danbrekke) has worked in media ever since Nixon's first term, when newspapers were still using hot type. He had moved on to online news by the time Bill Clinton met Monica Lewinsky. He's been at KQED since 2007, is an enthusiastic practitioner of radio and online journalism and will talk to you about absolutely anything. Reach Dan Brekke at

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