From “Pascal” to “Apple”: 350 years of computer history under the hammer.
Last November Auction Team Breker of Cologne, Germany, made international news for selling an original 1976 Apple I computer for the world record price of U.S.$ 640,000 (Euro 492,000). – On 25 May 2013 collectors and Apple-aficionados will have the chance to buy another of the 6 surviving Apple I computers still in working order (estimate: Euro 200.000 – 300.000 / US$ 260,000 – 400,000).
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This is truly an auction of „firsts“: the world’s first „Intel 4004″ microprocessor in a 1971 „Busicom-141PF“ (Euro 8.000 – 12.000 / US$ 10,000 – 15,000) and the first major Personal Computer, the „Altair 8800″, which kick-started the PC revolution from the cover of Popular Electronics magazine in 1975 (Euro 3.000 – 5.000 / US$ 4,000 – 7,000).
Three hundred years before the birth of Steve Jobs & “WOZ”, French physicist and philosopher, Blaise Pascal, was designing the first commercial mechanical calculator. The „Pascaline“ of 1652 could add and subtract two numbers together; multiplication and division relied on the 9’s complements principal still used in computers today!! Because of its importance to mathematics, 9 machines still in existence are all in museum archives. The 10th is being offered here at auction (Euro 100.000 – 200.000 / US$ 130,000 – 260,000).
In the late 18th century, poor roads and coach travel led English inventor James Watt to build his portable copying press: the first multiple-copying machine and the first patented instrument too (Euro 3.000 – 5.000 / US$ 4,000 – 7,000)!
A century later, and on the other side of the British Channel, mechanical life was being designed to amuse and be admired. Luxury Parisian toy makers of La Belle Époque combined music, mechanics and magic in the creation of automata like Gustave Vichy’s „Marchande des Masques“ (Euro 30.000 – 50.000 / US$ 40,000 – 65,000), perhaps inspired by Monet’s portrait of his wife Camille as „La Japonaise“.
Functionality came to the fore again in the 20th Century with mechanical encrypting devices such as the iconic second world war „Enigma“ with codes so complex, its inventor claimed, it would take a code-breaker, working day and night, 42,000 years to exhaust them all (Euro 15.000 – 25.000 / US$ 20,000 – 33,000).
Also included in the auction are historic telephones, antique typewriters, telegraphy and all manner of technology. Says company founder Uwe Breker, „this sale is unique in presenting masterpieces from the spectrum of antique technology, from the 17th century to the 21st.“
Full details can be found at //www.liveauctioneers.com“ >www.liveauctioneers.com and http://www.epa.eu) and http://www.presseportal.de/pm/107018 –
Uwe H. Breker, +49-2236-38 43 420, Auction@Breker.com