Previously we reported that a rare Apple I computer would go up for bidding at Christie's auction house on November 23, estimated to rake in more than $200,000 USD. That's a huge price to pay for the antique, hand-crafted computer considering that it originally sold for $666.66 during 1976 and 1977.
But let's face it--the price could be worth it (for those with 200K to spare), purchasing not only one of the original out-of-the-box computers, but a piece of American history. It's like purchasing one of the original Star Wars props or a discarded piece of the Status of Liberty before she had a make-over back in the 1980s.
With that said, Italian businessman and private collector Marco Boglione bought the Apple I computer for 133,250 pounds (roughly $213,600 USD), placing his winning bid over the phone. Boglione's brother--who was present during the auction--walked away carrying the Apple I motherboard (with 8k of RAM and an 8-bit 6502 microprocessor), the original packaging, a signed sales letter from Steve Jobs, and an autographed letter provided by Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak.
"Today my heart went out as I got to see things auctioned off like the Turing documents and the Enigma machine--and the Apple I," said Wozniak who was present during the auction. "It really was an important step, (even though) I didn't feel that way when I designed it."
The auctioned Apple I was #82 of 200 ever made, personally built by Jobs and Wozniak in a garage. At the time it was the only personal computer that could be used straight out of the box, requiring the end-user to supply the monitor, keyboard and power supply.
Boglione's brother told the Associated Press that the computer would likely be returned to working condition and added to a collection of Apple computers. "The first time I had heard of the idea of a personal computer, it was from Marco," Boglione said. “[He bought it] because he loves computers."