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Around this time, Jobs was back living with his parents in Los Altos and working at the video company Atari, saving money for a trip to India that was to prove a changing point in his life.

No other letter in Jobs’ hand is recorded and this one, said Bonhams (27.5/25/20/14.5% buyer’s premium), which offered it as part of a History of Science & Technology sale on November 3, shows wisdom and sophistication beyond his years.

Billed as the earliest-known example ever seen at auction, a 1982 Apple Macintosh prototype, dating from February 1982, took $32,000 (£23,425).

Marked up for printing in Scientia in 1912, a 9pp autograph manuscript that was to be Henri Poincaré’s final word on the paradox of mathematical infinity – he died that same year – sold at $40,000 (£29,285).