Fully functional rare Apple-1 heads to auction on September 25

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2018
One of the rare surviving operational Apple-1 computers will be heading to auction in late September, with the working piece of computing history estimated to fetch as much as $400,000 when it goes on sale.

Photograph via RR Auction
Photograph via RR Auction


The auction, due to take place on September 25 at 1PM in Boston by Invaluable.com in its "Remarkable Rarities" sale, will sell one of the original 200 Apple-1 units designed and built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and is one of the estimated 60 to 70 that are still operational. According to the auctioneer, the computer was restored to original working order in June 2018 by expert Corey Cohen, who also evaluated the condition of the unit as 8.5 out of 10.

The computer was originally sold through The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, priced at the time at $666.66. According to Executive Vice President of RR Auction, the firm selling the Apple-1 through Invaluable, the cosigner paid $300 to the original owner, and after learning BASIC and writing small programs, he apparently held onto it after realizing it was a piece of computing history.

It is claimed he attempted to sell it to Wozniak for $10,000 in 1982, but apparently the offer went unanswered.

Lot 3027 consists of the original Apple-1 board, original Apple Cassette Interface, original operation manuals for both the board and the cassette interface, a period surplus ASCII keyboard, a period "open-frame" Sanyo 4205 video monitor, a new period-style power supply with original Apple-1 power cable and connector, and period cassette interface cables.

Photograph via RR Auction
Photograph via RR Auction


The current estimate for the lot is between $300,000 and $400,000, but it could possibly sell for a much higher price. One working Apple-1 unit went on sale in June for $210,000, while another sold in August 2016 went for $815,000.

The current record for the sale stands at $905,000, set in October 2014 and bought by the Henry Ford organization.

Ahead of the auction, the Apple-1 will go through a scanning process typically used on artworks, in order to monitor its condition and to digitally capture its appearance. The process will capture tens of thousands of photographs using different light sources and spectrums, resulting in a 5D interactive file that is said to provide "unparalleled views and feelings of texture for each scanned object."

The scan, as well as a demonstration showing the Apple-1 works, will be revealed on September 5 at 11am at Invaluable's headquarters.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,504member
    I'm sort of curious how artifacts like this are determined to be genuine.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Does the Smithsonian own one? This is American History, like D Day or 911.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,458member
    If they’re so rare why do we keep seeing them come up for auction every few months? I think there have been three this year alone that went for big money at auction.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    lkrupp said:
    If they’re so rare why do we keep seeing them come up for auction every few months? I think there have been three this year alone that went for big money at auction.
    I guess it is mostly because of the original owners are getting old and want to cash out before death.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 5
    viclauyyc said:
    lkrupp said:
    If they’re so rare why do we keep seeing them come up for auction every few months? I think there have been three this year alone that went for big money at auction.
    I guess it is mostly because of the original owners are getting old and want to cash out before death.
    You are very right.  Original owners are getting up there in age and want to "cash" out before they can't use the money or the original owner has already passed away and the family is selling it.  Pretty soon the opportunity to buy one from those situations won't happen anymore as the new owners tend not to sell, since they don't need the money.  This is exactly what has happened in the high end collectible car market. If you think about it, less than 15 have been sold at auction in the past 10 years, so they are very rare indeed.  I think more Picasso's are sold every year than Apple-1 computers.

    As for authentication, like any historical artifact; measurements, chemical tests, and visual inspections are used to authenticate them.   Paper trails are also used and a good paper trail adds to the value and provenance.
Sign In or Register to comment.