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Lot #6072
Steve Jobs Signed iPad - "a personal gift from Steve"

Original iPad prominently signed by Steve Jobs—sent to a Hawaii dentist as "a personal gift from Steve"

Estimate: $10000+
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Original iPad prominently signed by Steve Jobs—sent to a Hawaii dentist as "a personal gift from Steve"

Rare original Apple iPad, Model A1337, Part No. MC496LL/A (32GB), Serial No. GB028BZVETU, prominently signed on the back in thick black felt tip by the company's founder, "steve jobs." Complete with its original box, power supply, USB cable, and SIM tool. In fine condition. Jobs was a notoriously difficult signer, especially at this late stage of his career—the iPad debuted in April 2010, and he would pass away about a year and a half later. A tremendous rarity, to our knowledge this is the only Jobs-autographed iPad to appear at auction.

Accompanied by a detailed letter of provenance from Hawaii dentist Frank H. Sayre, who describes treating Jobs for free during a trip there, and subsequently receiving the iPad as a donation for a Daniel Sayre Memorial Foundation fundraising event. Also includes the original transmittal letter from Steve Jobs' administrative assistant, LaNita Burkhead, on Apple letterhead, August 24, 2010: "Steve asked me to send you the enclosed autographed iPad (32GB Wi-Fi + 3G)…because this is a personal gift from Steve, we are returning your check."

Dr. Sayre's letter, in part: "Sometime in the spring of 2010 I received a call at the office from a dentist in the Bay Area. He said that he had heard about me and asked if I could see one of his patients who was in pain and was vacationing over here. I told him that I could, but that I was booked up and that I'd need to bring him in at the end of the day. He said that that would work even better as his patient was a 'high profile' individual and would rather be in the office when there weren't a lot of people around. Then he asked if I wanted to know who it was, I said, 'sure,' and he said that it was Steve Jobs. Steve arrived along with his wife and we diagnosed his problem. While we were waiting for him to get numb he noticed a number of documents and photos on the walls of some of the Foundation events and awards. He asked about them and we explained it all to him. We then successfully treated his problem. As he was getting ready to leave he wanted to pay for the treatment. We explained that we had a policy that we never charged out of town visitors for any emergency treatment. They were our 'Aloha Patients.'

He laughed and said that I was an excellent dentist, but that I was a 'lousy business man.' He then asked if there was anything that he could do for us. Having no idea about his attitude about autographing things, I said that we have a silent auction at our fundraiser and we would really appreciate it if he could donate a signed iPad. He said, 'of course,' and we chatted for a little while and they left. Some months went by and I never heard anything from him, but didn't think much about it as they were on their way to Japan after they left Hawaii. Still not knowing about his position on autographing, I sent a letter to him along with a check for the cost of the iPad - $729. I heard back from his secretary, LaNita Burkhead, who returned my check and said that Steve wanted the iPad to be a gift, and sent the iPad.

At the event in September we decided to take the top 3 bidders at the silent auction and pit them against each other in a live auction during dinner. I was trying to bid up the price and was one of those top 3. During the live auction one of the bidders dropped out and it was just one other guy and myself and, again, I was trying to push the price up. Someone in the audience yelled out, 'C'mon, let the Doc have it,' and the other guy dropped out and I ended up with it."

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities
  • Dates: #669 - Ended September 23, 2023