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.

Author

Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

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