Bonhams Space History Sale New York – Sputnik Model, Legendary Space Suit


A lab model for the first Sputnik, a legendary space suit and a signed relic from first mission to moon all rocket past their estimates

A full-scale vintage lab model of the Sputnik 1 sold for $269,000 (estimate: $10,000-15,000)

  • Stellar result for the full-scale lab model of the Sputnik that sparked the Space Race, which rocketed to $269,000, leaving its estimate ($10,000-15,000) for dust
  • An Apollo 11 emblem, a rare artefact, from the legendary mission that landed the first man on the moon and was signed by the Apollo Astronauts – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – sold for $110,000, more than double its low estimate
  • 15 gold-coloured plaster casts of NASA astronauts’ hands, made during the development of the first space suits in 1967 and including those of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sold for 10 times their £6,000-9,000 estimate, at $155,000
  • A flown space suit worn by Don Pettit on his dramatic return to Earth following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in February 2003 made $62,500

Spacesuit development hand casts,

sold for $155,000, smashing their estimate of $6,000-9,000

It was an astronomical result.

The Space History Sale at Bonhams New York yesterday, 20 July 2016, made $1,315,063. The sale quickly took off. It opened with a full-scale lab model of theSputnik 1 satellite, which achieved more than ten times its estimate of $10,000-15,000. After a dramatic spate of bidding, it eventually sold for $269,000 to a buyer on the telephone. The Soviet-built Sputnik 1 marked the dawn of the Space Race between Russia and the United States, and this life-size model was one of only four ever made.

Michael Collins’ flown crew-signed Apollo 11 emblem sold for $110,000 (estimate 50,000-70,000).

An incredibly rare artefact from the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, signed by all three astronauts on board – Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – made double its estimate. Just 3.5 inches in diameter, the Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem sold for $110,000, (estimated $50,000-70,000). It came from the original collection of the Apollo 11 command module pilot, Michael Collins.

An original space suit achieved $62,500 – double its estimate of $25,000-35,000. It was made in 1973-79 and worn by Don Pettit, a veteran of three spaceflights, in February 2003 during his dramatic return to earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-1 following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

A flown space suit from the International Space Station Expedition 6 sold for $62,500

Other Space History sale highlights include:

An Apollo 11 navigational chart flown to the lunar surface, sold for $40,000 (estimate $25,000-35,000).
Originally from the personal collection of Buzz Aldrin, the chart maps the first manned lunar descent taken by Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on board the Lunar Module Eagle. It was used minutes before they got the go-ahead from Mission Control to land on the surface of the moon. It is accompanied by a note from Aldrin himself:  “The chart was one of a series taped together which provided a continuous map of our flight path and, like Neil and myself, logged over 22 hours on the lunar surface.”
A flown Soyuz-3 space navigation indicator sold for $37,500 ($30,000-40,000)
This navigator was removed from the Soyuz-3 spacecraft by Soviet cosmonaut Georgy T. Beregovoy after his day-long flight in October 1968. Beregovoy intended to dock in space with the orbiting Soyuz-2, but failed after several complications. He was nonetheless awarded the two Orders of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, the 3rd Class Orders of Alexander Nevsky and Bogdan Khmelnitsky, two Orders of the Red Star, two 1st Class Orders of the Patriotic War.

“This was a truly meteoric result for the Space History sale,” said Cassandra Hatton, Director of History of Science and Technology at Bonhams. “The demand for these relics of the space race continues to be really strong. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are still very much household names – evidently, everything they touched turns to gold. The pieces from the Soviet space missions are also steeped with history and drama, so it’s exciting to see the market flourishing across the board.”

photos courtesy of Bonhams

The Space History Sale 
Bonhams, New York
20 July 2016
Specialist: Cassandra Hatton, Director of Space History and Technology







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