Rare 1976 Apple Computer Check Signed By Steve Jobs And Wozniak Sells For $164K At Auction

Apple Computer Check
Well, the auction for this decades old check endorsed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak has come to end with a final bid of $163,923 (including buyer fees). That's quite the jump from the high bid of $89,568 at the time we wrote this article yesterday, when there was less than seven hours to go. It's also well above the listing's estimated selling price of $25,000+ (more than six times that amount).

It's pretty remarkable that this collector's piece has stayed in such good condition all these years, which obviously contributed to it fetching six figures at auction.

Original story:
If you hurry, you can still bid on an ultra-rare check from 1976 endorsed by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Time is running out, though, and you'll need to come in big with your bid. The check went up for auction last month and now with less than seven hours to go (at the time of this writing), the high bid stands at $89,568.

It's up for grabs at RR Auction, which describes the 45 (almost 46)-year-old check as both "incredibly rare" and "excessively rare." Choose whichever adjective you prefer, the point is there's probably not many checks signed by both Steves that are still floating around, let alone in what looks to be reasonably good condition (or "very fine," according to the auction listing).

This was a company check with "Apple Computer Company" stamped at the top, along with the company's first official address at 770 Welch Rd., Ste. 154, Palo Alto, CA 94304. When the check was made out, Jobs and Woz were still operating out of a garage and using the address printed on the check as an answering service and mail drop location.

Closeup of Steve Jobs and Wozniak's signature on a 1976 Apple Computer check
It was made out to Kierulff Electronics for $3,430. Accounting for inflation, that would about $16,650 today. The date of the check suggests it was likely Jobs and Wozniak were paying for parts to assemble the second batch of Apple-1 computers

"This extraordinary check comes from the foundational moment of Apple Computer, today the most valuable company in the world. Three months earlier, on April 1, 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne signed the company's original partnership agreement, which assigned 45 percent of the company to each of the Steves, and 10 percent to Wayne. It also required any expenditure over $100 to be approved by two of the partners-perhaps the reason that both Jobs and Woz signed this check," the auction listing states.

Ron Wayne, the other co-founder you don't often hear mentioned in relation to Apple, sold his 10 percent share to Jobs and Wozniak 12 days later for just $800, or equivalent to around $3,989 today with inflation. A 10 percent stake today would be worth around $259 billion, based on Apple's current market capitalization. Not his best business decision on hindsight, obviously, and the same goes for selling an Apple partnership contract paper in the 1990s for $500. That paper fetched $1.6 million at auction in 2011. Fortunately for Wayne, he has done pretty well for himself over the years.

As for the check, if you're hoping to snipe the auction for $89.569, think again. The next minimum bid allowed is $98,525. We'll see if it gets there and/or tops the $100,000 mark.

Images courtesy of RR Auction