This Autumn Bloomsbury Auctions celebrates the study and observation of the physical and natural world in The Glory of Science. The auction will take place on 14th September at 24 Maddox Street, London W1S 1PP and will include striking photographs, maps prints and autographs.
A single owner collection of vintage NASA photographs from the Gemini missions 1965-1966 will be on offer. The Gemini program was the bridge between the Mercury and Apollo programs and was created in order to test equipment and mission procedures in Earth orbit and to train astronauts and ground crews for future Apollo missions. There were also 14 scientific, medical and technological experiments on board.
Astronauts Jim Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin were part of the Gemini Missions and an auction highlight is a photograph of Buzz Aldrin from 1966 (pre-selfie sticks), thought to be the first self-portrait taken space (est. at £800-£1,200).
Also in the auction is a rare astronomical reference work dated 1681 and compiled by Stanislaw Lubieniecki which provided information about recent comets of the day as notified by contemporary astronomers to Lubieniecki. TheTheatrum Cometicum contains numerous engraved illustrations, many folded, and is bound in contemporary mottled calf, (est. £10,000-15,000).
The correspondence of Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor best known for contributing to the design of the alternating current electricity supply system, is another auction highlight. In a typed letter, signed ‘N. Tesla’ and dated 1898, he explains to the Editor of The Photogram that he regrets ‘not to be able to oblige you in the matter at present’, (est. £1,500-1,800). And, in a fragment of an autograph letter, signed ‘Ch. Darwin’, the world-famous naturalist and geologist writes to George Cupples, the author of Scotch Deer Hounds and their Masters (1894), and signs off with ‘Pray give my very kind remembrance to Mrs Cupples’, (est. £2,000- 3,000).
The auction is open for consignments until 1st August.