15 Pieces of Apple History That Hit the Auction Block for Big Bucks

15 Pieces of Apple History That Hit the Auction Block for Big Bucks

You don’t become one of the largest tech companies on the planet without leaving a trail of artifacts in your wake. While many of Apple’s former products and ventures may have been lost to time, others have been scrounged up by antique collectors and enthusiasts to be auctioned off for some huge returns. Everything from factory-sealed iPhones to Apple fashion accessories to advertising campaign drafts have been auctioned off, with prices anywhere from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here are 15 of the most unique Apple items that have been auctioned in recent years.

Factory-sealed iPhone

Image: LCG Auctions

There are quite a few success stories of people holding on to an unopened iPhone, only to sell it years later for hundreds of thousands of dollars. This sealed iPhone sold for a massive $US190,372 by LCG Auctions on July 16.

Check from 1976 signed by Steve Jobs

Image: RRAuction

From humble beginnings came Apple Incorporated, at least according to a check from none other than Steve Jobs that is up for auction. The check was written for $US175 in 1976—the same year the company was founded—and was recently sold by RRAuctions for over $US106,000.


Image: RRAuction

While the iPod has come and gone, many forget just how revolutionary the piece of tech actually was. This sealed, 4-gigabyte iPod mini is currently on the auction block at RRAuction, with a recent bid at the low, low price of $US393.

Strawberry iMac

Screenshot: Gizmodo

The iMac of the 2000’s was one of Apple’s more bodacious offerings, with the smooth and bulbous plastic shell of translucent neon colours are sorely missed design choice against the company’s sleeker modern offerings. This strawberry-coloured iMac sold at Christie’s for over $US187,000.

Various Apple accoutrement

Image: RRAuction

The greatest tech company on the planet knew how to make other consumer goods too. This lot of Apple ephemera, hosted by RRAuction, includes the likes of Apple pens, Apple belt buckles, Apple necklaces, Apple keychains, and Apple pins. Some of these pieces were created by International Datawares and presented to Apple, only for the company to ultimately pass on the designs. The current bid is at $US486 with the lot closing on August 24.

Operation Manual

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Christie’s touted this personal archive of lesser-known Apple co-founder Ronald Wayne, who left the company less than two weeks after helping found it. The archive notably includes proof sheets for an Apple-1 operation manual and blueprints for the Apple II shell. The archive sold in 2014 for $US25,000 but was estimated at $US30,000.

Limited edition employee sneakers

Image: Sotheby’s

These shoes are not indicative of a foray by Apple into the fashion game but are instead a remnant of a line of sneakers custom-made for Apple employees that were a one-time giveaway at a sales conference in the ‘90s. Sotheby’s is hosting the sale of the size 10.5 sneakers, and they are boasting a hefty $US50,000 price tag.

Macintosh Classic II signed by Jobs and Wozniak

Screenshot: Gizmodo

This Macintosh Classic II sold for £60,000 in October 2021, which was equivalent to approximately $US51,500 at that time. The unit, which was auctioned off by Christie’s, featured a 9-inch screen, a 3.5-inch floppy drive, and a 1.4-megabyte hard drive, along with a keyboard and mouse. It also sported a signature from Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

Apple II cassette tapes

Image: RRAuction

One of these two cassette tapes contains the arcade game “Breakout,” developed by Apple’s own Steve Wozniak, while the other is cryptically titled “High Resolution Graphics.” Wozniak developed Breakout, in which a player breaks through colored blocks by bouncing a ball on a moving paddle, in Integer BASIC. The cassettes are going for $US200 through RRAuction.

Floppy disk signed by Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne

Image: RRAuction

Speaking of floppy drives, this floppy disk is a mysterious artifact signed by Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. The contents of the disk are unknown, but it could be yours for a mere $US220 through RRAuction with the lot closing on August 16.

“Think Different” posters

Image: RRAuction

RRAuction is auctioning off a series of four Apple “Think Different” ad posters that feature the likes of opera singer Maria Callas, entrepreneur Ted Turner, singer-songwriter Joan Baez, and dancer Martha Graham. The posters are currently sitting at a low $US242 with the auction ending on August 24.

Fully operational Apple-1 computer signed by Wozniak

Image: RRAuction

This fully operational Apple-1 computer is currently going for six figures—$US162,560 to be exact. The computer was the first product Apple wound up selling and this particular specimen comes with a custom-built case, keyboard, power supply, and a signature from Apple co-founder and Apple-1 designer Steve Wozniak.

Apple-1 advertising draft

Image: RRAuction

These polaroid photos are only one-half of a lot that depicts Apple developing an advertisement plan for the Apple-1. The lot also includes some chicken scratch from Steve Jobs on a piece of paper with tech specs of the machine along with some ideas for the advertisement. The two polaroids capture a constructed Apple-1 board and a basic computer program. The lot is currently at $US33,657 and ends on August 24.

A contract for MacWrite

Image: RRAuction

This contract signed by Steve Jobs is an agreement between Apple and Wigginton, a software that was set to help Apple develop a desktop word processor. That processor eventually became MacWrite, which was released in 1984. The auction ends on August 24 and the next bid is over $US11,000.

Steve Jobs’ sandals

Image: Julien’s Auctions (Getty Images)

A man of many black turtlenecks was also a man of a pair of Birkenstocks. Steve Jobs’ worn-out sandals went up for auction last fall by Julien’s Auctions and were estimated at $US60,000. They sold for a whopping $US218,750.

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