Sold at Christie's: Apple-1 #82 for $213K

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Last week, I belatedly reported that Christie's auction house would be selling an Apple-1 on Nov. 23. On that date, by the time I remembered what day it was, the lot had already sold and Christie's had closed. I was at work at Computerworld and mentioned the occasion to the news chief, who suggested I write about it, as the reporter responsible for Computerworld's auction's pre-event coverage was on holiday. I was already planning on blogging about it for this site but didn't have any details about where the computer had gone, so I questioned the potential for my article to be newsworthy.

But thanks to a blog comment by Eric Rucker, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at KansasFest 2010, I was able to take the story in the opposite direction by examining where this particular Apple-1 had come from. A quick trip to IRC, and I had the retrocomputing expert on the line, helping me get my facts straight.

The resulting article, which got some love on Google News, is now posted on

Christie's auction house in London today sold an Apple-1 computer for £133,250, or $213,600.

The lot, which went up for auction at 9:30 a.m. ET today, had an estimated value of between $160,300 and $240,450.

Two hundred Apple-1 computers are estimated to have been created and sold for $666.66 before Apple Computer Inc. was founded in 1977. Once the Apple II, the company's first official product, was released, many of the Apple-1 models were reclaimed as trade-ins. Only about 50 are still known to exist, many of them indexed by hardware developer Mike Willegal.

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