20 Nov 2012
34 x 24 ft mosaic allows you to 'walk' on the moon
New York- A giant mosaic of the near side of the moon is on sale with Bonhams on 5th December in New York (estimate $80,000-$100,000).
The US Information Agency (1953-1999) commissioned Kodak to create the mosaic in 1967. The images were taken from NASA's Lunar Orbiter IV whose purpose was to photograph the front side of the moon at a high resolution quality. Kodak was then responsible for manipulating the images into this gigantic mosaic.
Comprised of 218 panels, the mosaic constructed spans in the region of 34 x 24 ft overall. Once assembled the photographs were covered with clear plastic, so the public could effectively walk upon the moon following in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong.
Only two mosaics were produced and one was exhibited in a gymnasium in Prague, during the 1967 August International Astronomical Union meeting. The version on sale is the second copy as the Prague mosaic, despite many searches, has been deemed to be lost.
Matthew Haley, Specialist in the Space History department commented, "This is an extraordinary photographic item and the future owner will be able to literally walk on the moon.
"As a completely unique item to come to the market, we are expecting a lot of interest in this remarkable photographic mosaic."
Other notable lots in the sale include John Russell's globe representing the visible surface of the moon (estimate $200,000- $300,000) and a gelatine silver print of the crater Aristarchus, taken by the Lunar Orbiter V (estimate $100,000-$150,000).
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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 www.bonhams.com