A handwritten manuscript by late Apple CEO Steve Jobs reached $28,000 at Bonham’s History of Science and Technology, Including Space History auction in New York City this afternoon, failing to meet reserve and therefore remaining unsold.
The now-beige white sheet has some pretty visible age degradation, but features Steve Jobs in full salesman mode. The sheet shows a handful of extra exclamation points over the Apple I’s 8K bytes of RAM and the “real deal” you’d be getting by shelling out just $75 to receive an Apple I board and manual.
The note, written to a longtime friend of Jobs, was initially estimated to go for $60,000, so today’s highest bid of $28,000 is a good amount lower than expected. Perhaps the typical market buyers in this niche feel saturated with so many “rare” auction pieces hitting the market.
An Apple I computer was also auctioned today directly before the handwritten note. Originally estimated to sell between $250,000 — $350,000, the unit reached $200,000 before failing to reach reserve as well, again, remaining unsold.
The auction house provided the following description for the manuscript online before bidding commenced.
includes a rare autograph manuscript signed by Steve Jobs marketing the Apple-1 computer to a longtime friend quoting him the price of $75 for a bare printed circuit board with manual, which Jobs calls “A real deal.” Jobs touts the many features of the unit such as the “full crt terminal,” something that is taken for granted now, but in 1976, when most other hobbyist computers required programming based upon a bank of flashing LEDs on the front panel, incorporating a screen was revolutionary. Jobs also included two Polaroid pictures of an assembled board, likely one of the rare lost Apple-1 production prototypes, as well as a screen shot that includes Jobs’ address and phone number for contact. Jobs also includes his contact information at the bottom of the letter, giving his parent address, where he lived at the time, and where many of the original Apple-1s were assembled.
The manuscript isn’t the only Steve Jobs related memorabilia to hit the auction market this week, however. A very rare, signed “to Matt” copy of Macworld is estimated to sell for at least $10,000 when RR Auctions lists it between December 6th — December 13th.
The magazine is a guaranteed authentic, as there’s a YouTube floating around of Jobs himself signing the exact copy up for auction.
Jobs, a well-known reserved autograph signer, often sees huge sums fetched for his name. The last big item to hit the market was a previous Apple I unit, with Jobs’ autograph thrown into that auction lot as well, which reached an eye-watering $375,000.
Finally, the last piece on sale this week is a simple Steve Jobs business card. Only estimated to sell for around $500, this is one piece an avid 9to5Mac reader perhaps might shell out for.
Update 12/14/18 — Steve Job’s business card sold for an utterly questionable $6,259.75.