Bonhams will offer an exceptional selection of space related documents, memorabilia, and artifacts from space in the Space History Sale on March 25. This is the first major auction since a law was recently passed by Congress confirming that certain astronauts can retain or sell items they had used in space and saved as mementos. As a result, collectors can be confident that Bonhams March 25 sale contains some of the very best space history material on the market to date.
Highlights from the sale include a 1975 printed certificate marking the symbolic end to the space race (est. $60,000–100,000). Nicknamed the Space Magna Carta, the certificate hails from the first successful docking of a US and a USSR spacecraft – the Apollo and the Soyuz – and was signed in space by the cosmonauts and astronauts aboard the respective missions. The text advocating cooperation and peace is written in both Russian and English, and features an illustration of the spacecraft locked together in orbit. This certificate is one of four in existence, another being at the Smithsonian, and is surely the only example in private hands.
Another extraordinary piece on offer will be a two-page entry from the Apollo 11 log book (est. $70,000-90,000). These sheets are from the Primary Guidance and Navigation Section (PGNS) and describe computer procedures for the lunar lift-off, enabling Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to leave the Moon. Effectively equal to a log entry from Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World, the fascinating piece of history is accompanied by a two-page provenance letter, signed by Aldrin, which reveals Aldrin’s observations during the mission. The log pages were brought to the lunar surface in the Lunar Module Eagle on the first manned lunar landing mission during in 1969, making them the pinnacle for any space history collector.
Other interesting lots include a 1969 Goodwill Disk containing messages from world leaders for extraterrestrial life (est. $5,000–7,000), and an Apollo 15 lunar surface “Yo-Yo” with retractable tether and clamp used by Astronaut Jim Irwin (est. $50,000-70,000).
The Space History Sale will take place at Bonhams New York on March 25. It will preview at Bonhams from March 22-24.
A full catalog will be available in the coming weeks at www.bonhams.com/auctions/20944