Upcoming Steve Jobs auction a treasure trove for Apple fans

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Steve
Want to own a piece of Steve Jobs memorabilia? Of course you do.
Photo: Stanford University

A treasure trove of Steve Jobs-related goods is going under the hammer in an upcoming March auction titled, well, the Steve Jobs auction.

Organized by RR Auctions, the lot consists of various Apple-related items. These include a PowerBook signed by Jobs, an original Apple-1 computer, and an incredibly rare Apple II document signed by Jobs, previously belonging to Apple’s first industrial designer Jerry Manock.

Jerry Manock
Jerry Manock was the father of Apple industrial design.
Photo: RR Auction

“The public sees Steve Jobs as the icon of the current computer age,” Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auctions, told Cult of Mac.

Livingston notes that Jobs was a “reluctant” autograph signer, thereby making items signed by the late Apple CEO more collectible.

“He always asserted that his success was a result of a team effort, and therefore often refused to give an autograph if the rest of his employees were not included,” Livingston said.

Jerry Manock, the father of Apple industrial design

Livingston said his personal favorite item in the upcoming auction is a 1977 contract with Jerry Manock. Manock is the father of Apple industrial design. The contract was to design a shell for the Apple II. Manock’s price for doing that was a mere $270, the equivalent of $1,150 today. The document features Jobs’ signature. The Apple II wound up being Apple’s first mass-market machine — and the computer which made Apple a success.

There’s also a Macintosh 128K computer with an “In Appreciation: Jerry Manock” dedication, a Jobs-signed Apple bonus memo, Apple beach towels, an Apple logo neon sign from 1987, and much more.

Cult of Mac reached out to Jerry Manock to ask why he was selling part of his Apple memorabilia.

“I realized a while ago that most of this stuff was just sitting in a closet, unappreciated and unknown by anyone except me,” he said. “I decided that I wanted to pass on the unknown ‘value’ to my children and grandchildren before I exit with a capital E. Thus they will inherit a copy of the catalog with a description of each item, and have a 2020 [monetary] representation of the industry’s perceived value of my contribution to Apple.”

Manock referred to this as a “win-win for me.”

Steve Jobs auction has something for everyone (including the very rich)

The auction’s surefire big money-maker is likely to be an Apple-1. It is one of just a handful of working models thought to still exist today. This fully functional model is complete with all components and accessories required for operation. It was acquired by its owner back in the 1980s in a trade for a newer IBM computer. (That probably doesn’t look like such a great deal in retrospect!)

Apple-1
One of Apple’s first ever computer is a rare commodity among collectors.
Photo: RR Auction

The current record price for an Apple-1 was set in 2014 at a Bonhams History of Science auction in New York City. That computer fetched a whopping $910,000, despite early estimates predicting it would go for between $300,000 and $500,000. It will be interesting to see what this one sells for.

Even if you haven’t got Apple-1 money, however, there’s still likely to be something you can get your hands on. “There is definitely something for everyone, and that’s what makes a good well-rounded sale,” RR Auction’s Bobby Livingston said. “The early Apple ephemera is pretty hip and affordable.”

The Steve Jobs auction, featuring the The Lifetime Collection of Apple Product Design Engineer, Jerrold Manock, will open for online bidding on March 5. It runs through March 12. Cult of Mac will let you know when the catalog is made available online.