Originally priced at $666.66 in the 1970s, this Apple-1 computer has an estimate of £300,000-500,000 at Christie’s sale titled On the Shoulders of Giants: Making the Modern World, an online-only auction that runs from May 16-23.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak produced about 200 of their ground-breaking Apple 1 computers for Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California. It was one of the first personal computer stores in the world.
Of the approximately 200 Apple-1 boards made, around 76 units are known to still exist.
This version carries serial number 01-0053 (probably for The Byte Shop) and was bought in 1977 by Rick Conte. Christie’s said it was donated in December 2009 to a non-profit organisation and bought again in July 2010 for a private collection. In September 2014 it was acquired by the current vendor.
Housed in the bottom section of a briefcase, hidden by a makeshift aluminium control panel featuring a Datanetics keyboard, it was built by hand in 1976.
A handful of Apple 1 computers have sold at auction in recent years including an auction record of a hammer price of $750,000 ($905,000 with premium) at Bonhams in 2014.
Here is a selection at auction (including buyer’s premium):
- $905,000 (£706,500) at Bonhams in October 2014 - bought by the Henry Ford organisation.
- $815,000 (£627,000) at an online charity auction in 2016 (Charitybuzz).
- €516,461 (£444,000) at Auction Team Breker in Cologne in May 2013.
- $375,000 (£280,000) with buyer’s premium at a September 2018 auction at RR Auction in Boston.
- $365,000 (£230,000) December 2014 at a Christie’s online-only auction.
- $355,500 (£280,000) at Christie’s New York in June 2017.
- $210,000 (£160,000) at an online charity auction in June 2018 (Charitybuzz).