An iPad Forebear Sells at Christie's, But Alan Turing's Papers Fail Despite Help from Google

Courtesy Christie's Images LTD 2010
This 1976 Apple-1 computer sold for $212,267 at the Christie's London "Books and Manuscripts" sale
LONDON— As it gets more and more difficult to stay technologically up to date, Christie's may have hit upon a new way for Apple product junkies to show just how savvy they are. One new trend for the technocracy seems to be investing in the archaic. How old is your computer? Not as old Marcho Boglione's. At least not after the Italian businessman purchased a 1976 Apple-1 computer for $212,267 — a record for a personal computer sold at auction — at Christie's November 23 "Books and Manuscripts" sale in London.
This ancient ancestor of the iPad originally cost $666.66 (because Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak liked repeating numbers, we hear — not because he was in cahoots with satanic powers). Last week, however, the 4KB-memory computer sold well within its $160-240,000 presale estimate in the 91-lot auction that brought in a total of $3,675,380. The lot that Boglione took home contained the Apple-1 (one of fewer than 200 such models), as well as an Apple cassette interface card, a letter signed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs — with the return address listed as his parents' home — and other ephemera, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Other lots of note that were whisked off the block include Vladimir Nabokov's autographed unfinished manuscript of "The Original of Laura," scrawled out by the venerable Russian author on index cards, which sold for $124,334, quite a bit below the low presale estimate of $160,000. The World War II German "Enigma" cipher machine, meanwhile, went for $107,129, exceeding its estimate of $46,000-75,000. "Los Caprichos," a collection of 80 second-edition plates engraved by Goya — including a self-portrait wearing a jaunty hat — sold for $59,339, solidly within the $46,000-60,000 estimate.
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