Buzz Aldrin Space ‘selfie’ set to blast off

The first ‘selfie’ in space, an out-of-this-world portrait of Buzz Aldrin, looks set to be an auction highlight in a London auction this autumn.

Buzz Aldrin space self-portrait

Astronauts Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Jim Lovell were part of the Gemini Missions and the photograph of Buzz Aldrin from 1966 (pre-selfie sticks), carries an estimate of £800-£1,200.

The sale at Bloomsbury Auctions celebrates the study and observation of the physical and natural world in The Glory of Science. The auction, taking place on September 14, will include striking photographs, maps prints and autographs, alongside the single owner collection of vintage NASA photographs from the Gemini missions 1965-1966.

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.

A letter from Charles Darwin
A letter from Charles Darwin

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. The Theatrum Cometicum contains numerous engraved illustrations, many folded, and is bound in contemporary mottled calf. The book carries an estimate of £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’, (estimate £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’, (estimate £2,000-3,000).


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