For a mere $47,000, an unknown bidder with a passion for tech history bought a rare collection of 35 Apple computers in an online auction Tuesday.
There’s original Apple Lisa, a NeXTcube, and a 1984 Macintosh signed by Apple cofounder and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Steve Wozniak. The computers made up the Mac Museum, which was proudly displayed for years at Manhattan’s recently shuttered Apple center Tekserve.
At 29 years old, Tekserve was one of the original Apple retail and repair shops. It was upgrading RAM and selling PowerBooks long before Apple opened its own store and help counter (the humbly named Genius Bar).
In June, Tekserve announced it was closing up shop. The Chelsea fixture’s long-time customers had a home to go to: any of the seven Apple Stores in the New York City. But its wide-ranging collection of old computers, vintage machines, pop culture ephemera, and classic Apple posters did not.
Founders Dick Demenus and David Lerner decided to offer them to true fans.
“I’d like to see it go to people who appreciate it. The best way I could see to do that would be to have an auction,” said Demenus.
The auction officially started Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. ET at liveauctioneers.com. The Mac Museum was the auction’s crown jewel, but there are plenty of other Apple-related goodies from Tekserve’s collection. An original Mac with its carrying case started at $150. A bizarre looking melted Mac is also available, as well as Think Different posters with Jim Henson or Miles Davis.
Old radios, cameras and microphones are also included in the auction. If you’ve always wanted a vintage Coca-Cola vending machine or phone booth, this is your chance. And there are plenty of random little items like miniature toy motorcycles and a fossilized starfish.
The ascendance of Apple Stores may have made independent shops like Tekserve obsolete, but that doesn’t mean they will ever really replace them.
“The Apple Store, everything is new and shiny and looking to the future and they don’t look back,” said Demenus.