Follow-up on Christie's Apple-1

August 20th, 2012 2:43 PM
Filed under Hacks & mods, Mainstream coverage;
1 comment.

Two years ago, Christie's of London auctioned an Apple-1 for $213,600 USD. Although that amount has since been bested by Sotheby's, the Christie's auction is still an interesting tale — and one that isn't over. What happened to that machine after Marco Boglione purchased it? Did it ever become the centerpiece of a museum exhibit, as he intended?

According to Federico Viticci, it has, if only temporarily. Viticci writes at

I live in Viterbo, a small town in Lazio, Italy, not too far away from Rome… Today, the medieval buildings that make Viterbo an evocative architectural tapestry of art and history became, for a moment, a gallery for the modern history of technology.

Thanks to the efforts of Medioera, a festival of "digital culture" at its third annual edition here in Viterbo, Marco Boglione's original Apple I gained a prominent spot in the gorgeous Piazza del Gesù…

The Apple I exhibited at Medioera is the same that was auctioned (and sold) at Christie's in November 2010.

Viticci goes on to quote me (which would be a bit too meta to quote here) before offering an extensive history of the ownership of this particular Apple-1 — a lineage I've not seen published elsewhere — and photos of this and other machines that were a part of the festival.

Medioera is a temporary exhibit that has since left Viterbo. Where will Boglione's Apple-1 appear next? … Maybe Russia?

Apple's history comes to Russia

November 3rd, 2011 9:27 AM
Filed under History, Mainstream coverage;
1 comment.

When an Apple-1 sold for $213,600 almost a year ago, it was a business expense: the new owner, Marco Boglione, intends to feature it in a computer museum in his hometown of Turin, Italy. Reported one media outlet:

Turin, a northern Italian city, already has a television museum, a radio museum and a museum of cinema. Computers, and aesthetically-driven Apple in particular, would be a good fit in fashion-conscious Turin.

"It's big money," says Boglione, who says that he "couldn't care less whether tomorrow a machine like this goes for more or less. I think it's good in Italy that there is such a historical piece, one of the best, in good condition."

Now it looks like there's another computer history museum in the making. The BBC UK reports that Andrei Antonov is assembling Apple's lineage with which to found a museum in Moscow, Russia, by the end of 2011. The gallery will include the portable Apple II (the IIc), the Bandai Pippin, and other rare and aging artifacts.

Is a museum dedicated to Apple products too focused, compared to the comprehensiveness of the Computer History Museum? Does it need to reach further back in its focus, as the Vintage Computer Festival does? Or, like the recent rebranding of Macworld Expo, does an Apple museum capitalize on a brand that invokes passion and dedication like none other?

UPDATE (29-Feb-12): Here's the latest on the Russian museum.

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

November 25th, 2010 11:00 AM
Filed under Hacks & mods, Mainstream coverage;
Comments Off on Sold at Christie's: Apple-1 #82 for $213K

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.

Read the rest of this story at »