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Apple Founding Documents for Auction; $100K+ Expected

By - Source: Bloomberg | B 34 comments

A piece of Silicon Valley history.

We've seen some classic Apple machines auctioned online and fetch quite a sum. Next month, another piece of Apple history is on the auction block. Sotheby's in New York will soon auction off the original founding documents of Apple. The documents establishing the Apple Computer Company are signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne and are dated April 1, 1976. The pages are expected to sell for between $100,000 and $150,000 at Sotheby's books and manuscripts auction on December 13.

Though you could probably pick either of the two Steves out of a line up with no problems, the third person named in the documents, Ron Wayne, is less recognizable. This is because Wayne, a former co-worker of Jobs at Atari, left Apple 12 days after he signed the papers, cashing out his 10 percent of the company for just $800. In Walter Isaacson's book about the life of Steve Jobs, Wayne is said to have left because while Jobs and Woz had nothing to lose by starting Apple Computer, he had assets that potential creditors could seize should things go wrong. Had he held onto his 10 percent stake in Apple, it would be worth well over $20 billion today.

The documents were apparently acquired from a manuscript dealer that obtained them from Wayne. They include the original contract as well as the amendment that saw Wayne withdraw as partner.

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  • 20 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , November 29, 2011 4:11 PM
    You have got to be freaking kidding me. Of all the thing you could waste your money on...
  • 15 Hide
    applefairyboy , November 29, 2011 4:17 PM
    Hmmm...... Feed starving babies..... or ........ buy Apple contracts ......... I'M GONNA BUY THE APPLE CONTRACTS!
  • 14 Hide
    rawful , November 29, 2011 4:43 PM
    What historic value do these documents have? Honestly? How does spending a huge amount of money on a few pieces of paper make sense? How big of an apple fanboy do you have to be to even want these?

    I would pay up to $50 to have these just so I can take them to an Apple store and pee all over them in front of all the apple fanboys and revel in their tears of sadness.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , November 29, 2011 4:11 PM
    You have got to be freaking kidding me. Of all the thing you could waste your money on...
  • 8 Hide
    Goldengoose , November 29, 2011 4:14 PM
    JasonAkkermanYou have got to be freaking kidding me. Of all the thing you could waste your money on...


    Whoever is buying them i assume bought an apple products in the past so it makes sense.
  • 9 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , November 29, 2011 4:16 PM
    You can't deny the historic value of these documents.
    I'm sure the founding documents for Edsel are worth some money too.
  • 15 Hide
    applefairyboy , November 29, 2011 4:17 PM
    Hmmm...... Feed starving babies..... or ........ buy Apple contracts ......... I'M GONNA BUY THE APPLE CONTRACTS!
  • 9 Hide
    mrmike_49 , November 29, 2011 4:40 PM
    how about that Wayne guy though? that's almost funny $800 vs $20,000,000,000
  • 14 Hide
    rawful , November 29, 2011 4:43 PM
    What historic value do these documents have? Honestly? How does spending a huge amount of money on a few pieces of paper make sense? How big of an apple fanboy do you have to be to even want these?

    I would pay up to $50 to have these just so I can take them to an Apple store and pee all over them in front of all the apple fanboys and revel in their tears of sadness.
  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , November 29, 2011 4:46 PM
    .........................................
  • 2 Hide
    theconsolegamer , November 29, 2011 5:05 PM
    Guys, guys, guys..... Do you really think someone would pay $100k for some papers??? I mean really!
  • 3 Hide
    bender3000 , November 29, 2011 5:25 PM
    This brings whole new meaning to "overpaying" for the perceived superior value Apple products.
  • 3 Hide
    paulimur , November 29, 2011 5:27 PM
    Does it come with itunes?
  • 4 Hide
    CaedenV , November 29, 2011 5:30 PM
    gotta sell that novelty Apple stuff while they are still in business I guess :-P
  • 8 Hide
    dark_lord69 , November 29, 2011 5:43 PM
    Under business purpose it says: World Domination
  • 2 Hide
    mcd023 , November 29, 2011 6:11 PM
    I feel really bad for Wayne. poor dude. ouch.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 29, 2011 6:25 PM
    April 1st 1976? Come on! These docs are just a ruse.
  • 1 Hide
    billybobser , November 29, 2011 7:04 PM
    mrmike_49how about that Wayne guy though? that's almost funny $800 vs $20,000,000,000

    $800 to the creditors I imagine, and if the creditors held onto it, what a win.

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 29, 2011 7:29 PM
    Maybe they could create a real iCrap app with these documents.
  • 1 Hide
    tanjo , November 29, 2011 9:59 PM
    Put them in the recycle bin where it belongs.
  • 4 Hide
    mrpijey , November 29, 2011 10:36 PM
    It's pretty scary and sad how retarded some of your replies are in here, but I guess your personal hate overshadows any reasonable thought processes you might still have.

    It's really tragic.

    One doesn't need to like Apple to see the historical value of these papers, Apple is one of the most successful companies in the modern computer era and will go down in history with giants like IBM, Microsoft, Sony and others. And Apple using their own business methods surely managed to take the world going their own way instead of doing what everyone else did before.

    If you can't at least see the historical value of these papers then you're plain dumb. The monetary value of these papers can of course be questioned, but as always in an auction the one that pays the highest wins, regardless if it's a TV, piece of papers, old painting or a rare bolt. Simple as that.

    And I bet similar papers for IBM or Microsoft would fetch a similar sum of money if not more if they would ever surface and end up in an action.

    To all you sickly Apple haters, grow up... If you don't like Apple then stay away from these topics and don't infect the forums and sites with your pointless trolling and hate. Doesn't do anyone good.

    As for Wayne he had a lot to lose, and who knew back then that Apple would become as successful as it is today. It's always easy to ridicule and laugh at him today when we got history as evidence, not as easy when the future isn't written and you got a lot of personal stuff at risk, remember that a lot more companies crash and burn than become successful. And this happened in the very infancy of personal computing, so it was a brand new market and development.
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , November 29, 2011 11:08 PM
    Who would pay that much money for a piece of paper...

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/12/19/us-magnacarta-auction-idUSN1854840520071219
  • 0 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , November 29, 2011 11:33 PM
    Did you just compare the Magna Carta, a 700 year old document that helped shape a country and arguably all of western civilization, to these papers?
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