A pair of Birkenstock sandals "personally owned and worn" by Apple visionary Steve Jobs was sold on Sunday to an unknown buyer for over $218,000.
The sandals, which were worn by Jobs "during many pivotal moments in Apple’s history," according to Julien's Auctions, came with an exclusive 1-of-1 digital representation minted on the Polygon blockchain. According to the terms and conditions of sale, the non-fungible token (NFT) owner "is not acquiring ownership rights or Intellectual Property (IP) rights" to the NFT and cannot profit from its use.
The lot exceeded its estimated selling price of $60,000-$80,000 and received 19 bids. Julien's Auctions said that Jobs "would wear this particular pair of sandals in the 1970s and 1980s," and that they were previously owned by Jobs' house manager Mark Sheff.
Sheff previously told Business Insider that he collected Jobs' items whenever he would throw them out because "he kept very few things."
In addition, the auction house said that in 1976, Jobs "hatched the beginnings of Apple computer in a Los Altos garage with Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak while occasionally wearing these sandals." Chrisann Brennan, Steve Jobs' ex-partner, once told Vogue that the shoes "were his uniform" and reflected his focus on simplicity and practicality.
The sale of Jobs' NFT-linked sandals adds to a growing list of posthumous digital collectibles sold in recent months, including collections by David Bowie, Biggie Smalls and Whitney Houston's estates.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.