An Apple II manual from 1980 signed by Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula sold for $787,484 at auction this month after garnering 46 bids to Jim Irsay, the owner of American football team Indianapolis Colts.
Boston-based RR Auction sold the 41-year-old Apple II Reference Manual last week. The manual, that ran into 196 pages, was inscribed and signed opposite the ‘Table of Contents’ in blue ink by Jobs and Apple’s former angel investor and second CEO, Mike Markkula. The manual contains technical details of Apple II’s architecture and operation.
Jobs had written, “Julian, your generation is the first to grow up with computers. Go change the world! Steven Jobs, 1980.” He referred to Julian Brewer, whose father Michael negotiated exclusive distribution rights for Apple in the UK in 1979.
Julian recalls, “I was sitting in my bedroom writing games on my Apple II when Dad called me down to meet some guests. To my amazement it was Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula. I had the manual with me and only later understood how rare it was for Jobs to sign anything, let alone to write an inscription like this. He got on well with Dad, so I feel the inscription was made with care.”
RR Auctions, the site that sold the Apple II manual, also auctioned off other Steve Jobs memorabilia that fetched high prices. A Steve Jobs’ letter that said “I’m afraid I don’t sign autographs” sold for $479,939, and a NeXTSTEP software package sold for $210,325. A functional Apple-1 computer previously owned by Roger Wagner fetched $464,876, which is less than some prior Apple-1 computers have sold for. A signed 128K Macintosh Motherboard sold for $132,049, and an Apple Lisa Computer sold for $94,949.
Jobs passed away in 2011. In recent years, the prices of anything signed by him have skyrocketed.
While expressing what the Apple II manual meant for him, Irsay said in a statement provided to the auction house that Jobs was among the “most innovative minds of the past two centuries.”