updated 12:00 pm EST, Mon November 28, 2011
Value estimated up to $150,000
A document used to formally establish Apple Computer will go up for auction at Sotheby's on December 13th, Bloomberg reports. The contract measures three pages, and dates back to April 1st 1976. More importantly perhaps it bears the signatures of co-founders Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne. The item is estimated to fetch between $100,000 and $150,000 during Sotheby's books and manuscripts sale.
It was originally owned by Wayne, who was instrumental in persuading Wozniak to join Apple; the effort got Wayne a 10 percent stake in the company. On April 12th, though, he withdrew as a partner, something reflected in a County of Santa Clara statement and a contract amendment, both of which are also part of the auction lot. Wayne initially received just $800 for giving up his holdings, though this was later followed by another $1,500. Had he stayed with the company until today his stake would've been worth about $2.6 billion, according to the Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.
Sotheby's acquired the documents in the mid-1990s from a manuscript dealer, who in turn had got them from Wayne. The auction house's head of books and manuscripts, Richard Austin, explains that the sale is happening now because of the news headlines created by Jobs' death.