Original Apple computer sells for $479,000 at New York auction

Original Apple computer sells for $479,000 at New York auction

NEW YORK - A fully operational Apple computer that company co-founder Steve Jobs sold out of his parents' garage in 1976 for US$600 sold for US$365,000 (S$479,000) at Christie's on Thursday.

The Ricketts Apple-1 Personal Computer, named after its original owner Charles Ricketts, is the only known surviving Apple-1 documented as having been sold directly by Jobs to an individual from the Los Altos, California family home, according to the auction house.

The price fell shy of Christie's estimate of US$400,000 to US$600,000 and was far less than the US$905,000 paid by the Henry Ford organisation in October for one of the computers.

Fewer than 50 original Apple-1s are believed to be in existence of the few hundred originally produced.

Also at the sale, Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, with the help of various foundations and private donors, bought a Bacchic figure supporting the globe by 17th-century artist Adrien de Vries for US$27.9 million, well in excess of the sculpture's pre-sale estimate of US$15 million to US$25 million.

The Rembrandt Society, the BankGiro Loterij, VSB fund, Mondriaan Fund and others helped fund the purchase. "It follows the trend of masterpieces achieving outstanding prices," said Jussi Pylkkanen, global president of Christie's and the auctioneer for the sale.

One of the expected highlights of the auction, which Christie's dubbed the Exceptional Sale, was withdrawn at the 11th hour when the estate of Joan Fontaine, who died aged 96 a year ago, pulled her best actress Oscar for the Alfred Hitchcock film "Suspicion" from the sale of her collection.

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