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Sotheby’s to sell mementos of space exploration in upcoming auction

July 10, 2017

Photo signed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin that is included in Sotheby's sale. Image credit: Sotheby's


Auction house Sotheby’s is celebrating the 48th anniversary of the moon landing with an auction of out-of-this-world artifacts.

The July 20 sale “Space Exploration” will includes items such as lunar photography and the flight plan for Apollo 13. Taking this celebration of space beyond those who bid successfully, Sotheby’s is hosting a public exhibit at its New York headquarters prior to the auction.

One small step for man
Sotheby’s auction is led by the bag Neil Armstrong used to collect lunar samples, which is estimated between $2 million and $4 million.

Photography ranging from the 1850s to 1960s will be up for sale. These include shots taken from unmanned spacecraft, which eventually helped form a plan for the moon landing.

Another lot features the documentation of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s 1961 Earth orbit in Spaceship-Sputnik “Vostok.”

The Final Frontier: A Journey Through Space

Other items on sale include a spacesuit made for Gemini astronaut Gus Grissom and a photograph of Buzz Aldrin at Tranquility Base.

The sale is scheduled for July 20, the date of the moon landing. Sotheby’s exhibit will be held from July 13-19.

Still capturing the imagination more than four decades later, the moon landing has been the subject of luxury brand efforts before.

For example, in 2014 Swiss watchmaker Omega commemorated the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing and its own involvement with a limited-edition timepiece.

In 1969, when NASA astronauts stepped foot on the moon, Mr. Aldrin wore an Omega Speedmaster Professional chronograph on the outside of his spacesuit. The Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary timepiece marks this occasion as well as the watchmaker's link to one of mankind’s most miraculous achievements (see story).