An auction that included vintage Apple items that were almost thrown away wrapped up this week with many items bringing in more than their estimates. A Lisa 1 and an original iPhone still in the plastic sold at hefty prices. Some technical notes handwritten by Steve Jobs also brought in more than expected. There were many more.
However, some of the Apple items did not sell, including a fully functional Apple-1, likely because bids didn’t reach their reserve price.
Apple history saved from the trash, up for auction
Many of the items that just sold for thousands of dollars were almost thrown in the rubbish.
“Over 15 years ago, an IT company owner was dropping off used computers to a Portland, Oregon scrapyard when he spotted some early Apple computers loaded into a shipping container destined for China and destruction,” says RR Auction, the company holding the sale.
The computers once belonged to former Apple COO Del Yocam. RR Auction recently put these under the gavel, with the auction wrapping up March 16.
Apple Lisa 1
Among the rare Apple computers that just changed hands is a Lisa 1 from the first production build (shown above). It was the company’s first foray into graphical user interfaces. This particular unit was presented to Del Yocam, and bears an engraved presentation plate on the front.
The computer was expected to sell for $65,000 but actually fetched $81,251.
Original iPhone still in the packaging
Also in the auction was a first-generation iPhone still sealed in the original shipping plastic. The seller says “he purchased this phone upon its release in 2007 but received one through work as an Apple employee; this spare was never opened,” according to the auction company.
The auction estimate for the handset was $20,000 and up — it sold for $54,904. Another factory-sealed 2007 iPhone sold in February for over $63,000.
Handwritten notes by Steve Jobs
The RR Auction sale include notes written by the Apple co-founder. These are “early handwritten technical instructions and schematic annotations by Steve Jobs from circa 1971,” according the the auction company.
The were expected to go for $10,000 and up, and actually sold for $12,501. Possibly keeping the price down is the fact that they are unsigned.
Prototype Macintosh 128K with carrying case
The just-completed auction also included a Macintosh 128K prototype — a pre-production unit of the very first Mac. This comes in a “rare custom-made carrying case given to a limited number of Apple employees,” according to RR Auction.
The estimated selling price for this item was $12,000, but it went for $16,500.
Some auction items not sold
Some of the most interesting vintage Apple products in the the auction didn’t sell.
That includes the aforementioned Apple-1 signed by Steve Wozniak. Examples of the very first computer from the company come up for auction occasionally, and and bidding usually riches the stratosphere. The auction estimate for this one was $500,000 or more. But it’s possible none of the bids reached the seller’s reserve price, so the computer was not auctioned off.
The same is likely true for an Applesoft ROM Chip signed by Steve Jobs. Experts expected the item to go for $50,000 or more in the just-completed auction, but it also did not sell.