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Apple-1 'Celebration' motherboard auction pulls in $815K

The motherboard believed to be amongst the first hand built prototypes for the Apple-1 fell short of million dollar estimates, but still reaped $815,000 with a portion going to charity.




The "Celebration" Apple-1 board came with the most complete set of documentation yet, marketing materials, a period-correct power supply, an original cassette interface board, and early Basic cassettes with boot instructions signed by early Apple employee and coder Daniel Kottke.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak believes that no boards of the type up for auction were ever sold to the general public. It is believed that the board could be powered up, but the appraiser recommends against it to maintain the original configuration of the 40-year old computer.

Appraiser Corey Cohen believed it was a prototype or experimental board that used higher quality components than later boards. The unit was dubbed "Celebration," as a result, because of it being the only known unit to feature a pre-production circuit board.

Wozniak doesn't remember assembling any boards with the specific components on the "Celebration" board, leading Cohen to believe that the machine was assembled by Kottke or Steve Jobs.

"It's the rookie card, for lack of a better word," Cohen said when the auction started, drawing a comparison between the antique board's sale and higher-value baseball card auctions.

In October 2014, one of 50 known surviving Apple I computers was sold at auction for $905,000, beating expectations for that sale, and topping a previous record of $671,400.