Sotheby’s announced the inaugural Space Exploration-themed auction, the first since the groundbreaking Russian Space History sales of the 1990s. In the intervening decades, the enthusiasm for Space Exploration has greatly increased, and the collecting field in both American and Russian material has grown dramatically. Timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing with a live sale taking place on 20 July, there will be a wide variety of material from both the American & Soviet space programs suited for both new and seasoned collectors – from flown mission artefacts and hardware, items from the personal collections of astronauts & cosmonauts, space photography & signed photographs, maps & charts, signed books, engineering models & other 3-D objects, and much more.
The star lot of the sale is the most important space exploration artefact to ever come to market, the outer decontamination bag used by Neil Armstrong on Apollo 11 to bring back the very first samples ever collected of the moon, traces of which remain in the bag. The only such relic available for private ownership, it is exceptionally rare.
The zippered bag is expected to sell for $2 to $4 million — potentially more than any space exploration artifact has ever commanded at auction.
Other highlights from the sale, include flown mission artifacts and hardware, items from the personal collections of astronauts & cosmonauts, and space photography & signed photographs.