If you've ever dreamed of owning an original piece from the early space age and you have some cash to spare, we have some good news. Auction house Christie’s has 2,400 vintage original photos in 700 lots with important milestones from the Russian and American space race from the 1940s to the early 1970s.
The collection was assembled by Victor Martin-Malburet over the course of 15 years, with pieces from the collection shown around the world in exhibitions of the so-called golden age of space exploration.
The entire collection is believed to be the most comprehensive private collection of NASA photographs ever put to auction. It marks some of the most epic milestones of the space race. Christie’s expect the photographs to be sold between £800 and £30,000, as collectors worldwide try to buy a piece from this unique moment in the history of humanity. The successes of the cosmonauts, the early days of the Mercury program, the breakthrough of the Gemini missions, and obviously the epochal Apollo program are all featured in this collection.
Among the photographs, we find some truly incredible pieces such as Earthrise and the Blue Marble, as well as some unexpected treasures such as Buzz Aldrin’s Space Selfie from the Gemini XII mission and the first photograph taken by a woman in Space, snapped by Valentina Tereshkova in 1963.
“The astronauts are often portrayed as great scientists and heroes, but rarely are they hailed as some of the most significant photographers of all time,” Victor Martin-Malburet commented in a press release. “The early pioneers of Mercury and Gemini were given as a canvas space and the Earth; the Apollo astronauts an alien world. From the thin protections of their space capsules and EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units), they captured, with skill and daring, photographs which immediately embraced the iconography of the sublime, inspiring awe and wonder.”
The auction is called “Voyage to Another World: The Victor Martin-Malburet Photograph Collection” and the online bidding will continue through November 20. Even if you are not interested in bidding or buying any of the photos, perusing the collection is certainly an experience in itself. These snapshots are a window on the success and failures, the hopes and challenges, and much more from the early years of space exploration.