A rare Apple-1 computer is hitting the auction block next week, and the piece of history is expected to fetch anywhere from 300,000 and 6500,000 pounds ($378,000 to $630,000).
The rare historical object will go up for auction on May 16 as part of an online-only sale by British auction house Christie’s.
Apple-1 serial number 01-0053 is described as follows:
Housed in a briefcase (44.5 x 37 x 10cm.), the motherboard labelled ‘Apple Computer 1 Palo Alto Ca. Copyright 1976’ on obverse with four rows A-D, and columns 1-18, white ceramic MOS Technologies 6502 microprocessor, 8K bytes RAM in 16-pin 4K memory chips; modified cassette interface card; Datanetics keyboard supported on aluminium; green Preliminary BASIC Users manual.
The hand-built board – assembled in 1976, and believed to be part of an original batch of Apple-1 units sold through Mountain View, Calif., computer store Byte Shop – is housed in the bottom section of a briefcase, and is hidden by a Datanetics keyboard.
Christie’s says the Apple-1’s provenance is as follows:
- Serial Number 01-0053 (probably for the Byte Shop)
- 1977 Acquired by Rick Conte
- December 2009 Donated to a non-profit organization
- July 2010 purchased for a private collection
- Acquired by the present owners in September 2014
The auction also includes a modified cassette interface card, Panasonic RQ-309DS cassette tape recorder, SWTPC PR-40 printer alphanumeric printer, Sanyo VM4209 monitor and Motorola M6800 microprocessor.
Documentation is also a part of the lot, and includes an Apple-1 operation manual, original green “Preliminary” Apple BASIC Users manual dated 1976, “tan” Apple-I manual from 1977, and early schematics papers.
The last Apple-1 that was auctioned by Christie’s (in 2017) brought in $355,500, which was on the low end of its expected sales price range of $300,00-to-$500,000.
Of approximately 200 Apple-1 boards that were manufactured, only 80 units are known to still be hanging around.