Original Apple computer could fetch $600,000 at December auction

Mon Nov 3, 2014 12:20pm EST
 
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A fully operational Apple computer that company co-founder Steve Jobs sold out of his parents' garage in 1976 for $600 will hit the auction block in December, where it is expected to fetch more than half a million dollars, Christie's said on Monday.

The so-called Ricketts Apple-1 Personal Computer, named after its original owner Charles Ricketts and being sold on Dec. 11, is the only known surviving Apple-1 documented as having been sold directly by Jobs, then just 21, to an individual from the Los Altos, California family home, Christie's said.

"It all started with the Apple-1 and with this particular machine," said Andrew McVinish, Christie's director of decorative arts.

"When you see a child playing with an iPad or iPhone, not too many people know that it all started with the Apple-1," he added. "So to be able to own a machine that started the digital revolution is a very powerful attraction."

The computer is being sold by Robert Luther, a Virginia collector who bought it in 2004 at a police auction of storage locker goods without knowing all the details of its history.

"I knew it had been sold from the garage of Steve Jobs in July of 1976, because I had the buyer's canceled check," Luther wrote on a kickstarter page soliciting funding for a book on the machine's history.

"My computer had been purchased directly from Jobs, and based on the buyers address on the check, he lived four miles from Jobs."

In 1999, the Ricketts Apple-1 was acquired by Bruce Waldack, an entrepreneur who had just sold his company, DigitalNation. Waldack eventually lost his fortune, left the country and died in 2007. The Ricketts Apple-1 was auctioned at a self-storage facility in Virginia, where Luther purchased it.   Continued...

 
A fully operational Apple computer that company co-founder Steve Jobs sold out of his parents' garage in 1976 for $600 is seen in this undated handout picture courtesy of Christie's. REUTERS/CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2014