November 27, 2012

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mosaic compiled from Bonhams 1793

Oh for a few hundred thousand dollars. An unidentified Virginian's collection of nearly 200 space items is being auctioned December 5 in New York at Bonham's auction gallery. Above are some of the 100 plus lunar items including many spectacular examples of globes, telescopes and classic images. The famous Russell globe at center above is one of the greatest collectables of lunar science and has a hoped for sales price of $200,000 to $300,000. It is also one of the least seen lunar maps that is really much better than its contemporaries. The telescope at bottom right is a 5" reflector made in about 1750 by a telescope maker previously unknown to me: Claude-Simeon Passemant. At bottom left is another lunar event I had never heard of. During the 1901 Pan-American Exhibition an odd craft, looking like something from 100s years earlier, took passengers on a ride through a tunnel with a rapidly decreasing sized model of Earth in the rear, to a lunar surface with selenites to give tours. A real classic is above left, four large quadrant images from 1899 of the Puiseux and Loewy Paris Observatory photographs. The image at top right is not a Chinese robe but a floor-size display of Lunar Orbiter 4 images. This huge image was part of a backup copy of a gymnasium-floor mosaic made by Kodak for the International Astronomical Union congress in Prague in 1967. If, like me, you have too little cash to bid on most of these items take a look anyway to marvel at high resolution views of many classic lunar items from the 18th through 20th centuries that you have heard of but never seen.

Chuck Wood

Yesterday's LPOD: Fish Scales

Tomorrow's LPOD: Don't Fall In


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