Monday, May 2, 2011

Space History Auction

Artifacts relating to the early years of space exploration will be sold this week by Bonham’s auction house in New York. The sale includes both American and Soviet memorabilia. Many of the items are from the personal collections of astronauts and others associated with the space programs.Above, full-scale model of a Saturn V F-1 engine, approximately 19’ tall x 12’ diameter. (Would look amazing in a backyard--so much more original than a gnome!)
Below, neck tag worn by Ham the Space Chimp on his 1961 flight.

Ham, after his flight. Check out his LIFE photo gallery.

Photo of the Mercury Seven, 20 x 16 inches, c.1959, printed later. Signed by Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, and Gordon Cooper.

Space suit parts with photos taken during testing.

"Skyward," by Commander Richard E. Byrd.
Endpapers are signed by over 20 aviators in the 1920s and 1930s, including R.E. Byrd, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Frank Whittle, J.H. Doolittle, and Eddie Rickenbacker.

"International Turtle Club (Outershell Division)" official membership card signed by Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, and Wally Schirra. The traditions of this club, started by pilots from World War II, were embraced by the Mercury astronaut corps. The card has the "Turtle Creed" and the membership requirements.

90-page book describing the Defense Department's role during the Apollo 11 flight including details on the tracking network, support aircraft, and recovery ships, 1969. Signed by Buzz Aldrin.

Internal publication about Apollo 11 produced by North American Rockwell, builder of the Command Module. Signed by Buzz Aldrin.

Signed orbital flight reports from May and October of 1962.

Lunar surface photo-mosaics created by U.S. Geological Survey, 1966-68. This was before the Hockneyizer photo-collage generator was invented. It was even before David Hockney started making his famous Polaroid composites.

It’s a really good thing aeronautic success and poster design are in no way related. In these pieces, the Soviets are literally reaching for the stars, while U.S. poster-design talent was clearly focused elsewhere (movies? rock concerts?).
Bravely to the Stars; No Obstacles for Heroism
Moscow, 1968

Tenth Planet—A Symbol of the Victory of the Communists!
Moscow, 1959

To the Stars!
Moscow, 1965

Left: To the Conquest of the Universe—Glory! Moscow, 1961
Right: Glory to the Cosmonaut U.A. Gagarin! Moscow,1961

Let Our Constellation Shine
Moscow, 1966

Apollo 8 Poster: Quality Work Assures Success

Poster of Astronaut Rusty Schweickart with a spiral galaxy backdrop. Text: "In our business only the EXCEPTIONAL is satisfying. THANKS FOR YOUR SHARE"

Poster features portraits of the Apollo Astronauts and Russian Cosmonauts of the Apollo Soyuz flight during 1975. A symbolic chain links the together around the Apollo Soyuz Program emblem. Text: “Linked in Trust, In the Excellence of Your Work”

The sale includes a number of sketches of high-altitude manned ballooning capsules from the 1950s. (Lots 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

Anatoly Levchenko 's jumpsuit from Soyuz TM-4. It was the fourth manned spacecraft to dock with Mir, in December 1987.


  1. I'm much into space stuff, but these items sure brought me back! I feel like going back to my local hobby shop and building myself a Saturn rocket, like I did when I was eight years old.

  2. As far as the British Art Show was concerned, curators Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton smartly avoided to define British and Britishness.

    Offer Waterman & Co.


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