Reports from Bloomberg have come in that auction house Sotheby’s is gearing up to auction off the original three-page contract among Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne that established Apple Computer Co. on April 1st, 1976. The document, which will be one of Sotheby’s highlights, is expected to hit the auction block in New York City next month for December 13th and predicted to fetch $100,000 up to $150,000 in auction. Now this is a three page document worth bidding for, in all its historical, societal and sentimental value.
“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.
Also included in the auction package are papers documenting Ron Wayne’s withdrawal as a partner just a dozen days after the company was founded. Wayne initially received $800 for his 10% share of the company, and later received an additional $1,500 payment, before he withdrew his part ownership of Apple. Talk about not seizing the day, eh? Opportunities like this are far and few between, and Wayne unfortunately never got to capitalize on his.
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.” Now, that party has decided to auction off the documents, seeing the recent publicity about Jobs following his recent death and the well-received release of his authorized biography by regarded biographer Walter Isaacson. Readers, how much do you think Apple’s founding contract signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne is worth?