Bonhams aims for the stars for their annual Space auction

26 Apr 2012, The Space History Sale

Bonhams aims for the stars for their annual Space auction

26 Apr 2012, The Space History Sale

NEW YORK – Bonhams is pleased to announce this year's Space History auction to be held on Thursday, April 26 at our New York headquarters at 580 Madison Avenue. The auction will begin at 1 pm and will feature a number of rare and fascinating items associated with space travel.

Matthew Haley, Bonhams Space specialist, states about the sale, "I'm excited about our fourth sale in this fast-growing category. With artifacts from several Apollo astronauts' collections, and some truly unique consignments from collectors and space industry veterans, I am looking forward to seeing some stunning results."

Highlighting the sale is the Sokol KV-2 space suit that Shannon Lucid trained in prior to her 188-day stay on the Russian Mir space station in 1996 (pre-sale est. $30,000 – 50,000). Lucid is a member of NASA's first astronaut class to include women, and from August 1991 to June 2007 held the record for the most days in orbit by any woman in the world, logging more than 223 days in space. She retired at the start of this year after more than three decades of service to the agency.

Another highlight of the sale is a flown Apollo XI crew patch, signed by all three members of the Apollo XI mission: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins (pre-sale est. $40,000-60,000). The cloth is inscribed by Collins with the following: "Carried to the moon aboard Apollo XI, July 1969."

Certainly one of the most unique items Bonhams has sold in our Space History auctions is the first mail to orbit planet Earth (pre-sale est. $30,000-50,000). This letter, written by USAF Chief of Staff Thomas Dresser White, was inside Discover 17, an optical reconnaissance satellite, attached to an Agent-B rocket launched from California in 1960. Bearing the title "First Class Mail-Outer Space" on the envelope, this letter was received by General Lemnitzer, Chief of Staff of the US Army, in commemoration of the joint efforts towards "bringing this nation one step nearer to man's transcendence over the limits of the earth."

Other auction highlights include a U.S. flag carried on Apollo XI (pre-sale est. $20,000-25,000); a flown packet of dehydrated potato soup Fred Haise carried on Apollo XIII (pre-sale est. $7,000-9,000); and an antenna from Russia's robot lunar rover (pre-sale est. $15,000-20,000).

Press Contacts:

Julie Saunders Guinta
(917) 206-1681


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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