Apple’s Original Corporate Papers Heading to Auction, Could Fetch $150,000

29th November 2011

Bloomberg reportsthat Sotheby’s is preparing to auction off the original three-page document that served as the contract among Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne to establish Apple Computer on April 1st, 1976. The auction, set for December 13th, is predicted to see the document fetch $100,000 to $150,000.

“This is a foundation document in terms of financial history, social history and technological history,” said Richard Austin, the head of books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s in New York.

Additional papers documenting Ron Wayne’s withdrawal as a partner just 12 days after the company was formed are also included in the auction package. Wayne initially received $800 for his 10% share of the company, and later received an additional $1,500 payment.

According to Sotheby’s, Wayne sold the documents to a manuscript dealer at some point before another party acquired them in the mid-1990s as Apple appeared close to bankruptcy before Jobs returned to the company. That party has now decided to sell the documents given the recent publicity about Jobs following his death and the release of his authorized biography.

The Sotheby’s auction of “fine books and manuscripts” includes over 350 separate lots, with the $100,000-$150,000 estimate for the Apple documents ranking in a tie for third with a 1733 map of America. The most valuable lot is predicted to be a 1789 letter from George Washington, which is estimated to sell for $300,000-$500,000.