Science

The highlights of the science, sci-fi and technology auction year

The highlights of the science,...
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$6,642,000 | The Birds of America by John James Audubon | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 19, 2019 | New York | Sotheby's
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$2,900,000 | URWERK atomic clock and synchronised wristwatch | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 10, 2019 | New York | Phillips
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$2,055,000 | Neil Armstrong's One and Only Apollo 11 Lunar Module Flown MS67 NGC 14K Gold Robbins Medal | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 18, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$1,820,000 | Video of the moon landing | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 20, 2019 | New York | Sotheby's
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$1,523,428 | Friedrich von Hayek Nobel Prize | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: March 20, 2019 | Online | Sotheby's
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$1,296,654 | Diplodocus Skeleton (no sale - high bid) | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 13, 2019 | Paris | Aguttes
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$1,215,000 | Somma di arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni e proporzionalità by Luca Pacioli | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 12, 2019 | New York | Christie's
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$1,152,000 | Darth Vader' mask and helmet from 'The Empire Strikes Back" | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: September 26, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
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$963,478 | MEDIEVAL ASTROLABE QUADRANT PROBABLY SOUTHERN FRANCE, 1291-1310 Auction Description | December 11, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$963,478 Arcano del Mare by Sir Robert Dudley Auction Description | December 11, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$800,000 | Four-Rotor M4 Kriegsmarine Enigma Cipher Machine | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 17, 2019 | New York | Sotheby's
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$735,000 | 1994 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences awarded to John Forbes Nash, Jr. | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 25, 2019 | New York | Christie's
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$734,497 | "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium” by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 10, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$623,702 | Dodo skeleton | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$612,212 | Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 9, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$605,433 | Description de l'Égypte | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 12, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$564,500 | On the Origin of Species. London - Charles Darwin, 1859 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 5, 2019 | Chicago | Hindman
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$502,234 | De Groote Nieuwe Vermeerderde Zee-Atlas ofte Water-Werelt by KEULEN, Johannes van | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 5, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$470,189 | Apple-1 personal computer, Palo Alto, 1976 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 23, 2019 | Online | Christie's
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$404,218 | Theaters of the cities of the world by BRAUN (Georg) and Frans HOGENBERG | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | Paris | Binoche et Giquello
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$399,000 | Sir Isaac Newton. Autograph Manuscript, Notes on Physics and Solid Geometry, | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: September 4, 2019 | New York | Heritage Auctions
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$391,745 | Sidereus Nuncius by Galileo | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 9, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$380,249 | Speculum orbis terrae by, Johannes Metellus | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 5, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$378,474 AN EARLY DUTCH POCKET GLOBE TRIBUTED TO WILLEM BLAEU, AFTER CIRCA 1618 Auction Description | December 11, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$362,334 De re militari (1472) by Robertus Valturius Auction Description | December 11, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$357,981 | Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden.by Johann Gregor Mendel | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 9, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$350,000 | Molecular structure of nucleic acids: A structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid. Galley proof signed by Crick" and Watson | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 12, 2019 | New York | Christie's
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$338,630 | Fully functioning 1935 Enigma I machine used by the German military | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 4, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
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$337,308 | Geographie opus novissima traductione by Claudius Ptolemaeus | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 27, 2019 | Hamburg | Ketterer Kunst
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$325,050 | De humani corporis fabrica libri septem | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: March 11, 2019 | New York | Bonhams
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$325,000 | Gould's Birds of New Guinea | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 17, 2019 | New York | Arader Galleries
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$281,416 | THE SCHØYEN COLLECTION OF MEDIEVAL SEAL MATRICES | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 10, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$279,985 Sketch of the Analytical Engine invented by Charles Babbage... with notes by the translator' Auction Description | December 11, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$279,859 | Apollo Guidance Computer | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 17, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
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$275,075 | Indian Ornithology by Christopher Webb Smith | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 23, 2019 | New York | Bonhams
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$257,036 | Le Grand Atlas, ou Cosmographie Blaviaene | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: March 13, 2019 | Brussels | Arenberg Auctions
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$242,244 | LIVRE DES DIFFERENTES ESPÈCES D'OISEAUX DE LA CHINE TIRES DU CABINET DU ROY | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$237,500 | A New Map of the Western Parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina (Matt - the link at H30 is not the link to this document but it is a copy of the same book that can be used as illustration | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 8, 2019 | New York | Arader Galleries
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$237,449 | pair of globes, terrestrial and celestial by CORONELLI, Vincenzo | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 19, 2019 | Brussels | Arenberg Auctions
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$225,000 | FLOWN TO & USED ON THE LUNAR SURFACE DURING APOLLO 11 6 items mounted together on a special presentation board | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 19, 2019 | New York | Sotheby's
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$225,000 | Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 25, 2019 | New York | Christie's
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$225,000 | 1994 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences awarded to Reinhard Selten for his contributions to Game Theory | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 25, 2019 | New York | Christie's
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$218,750 | Ortelius Theatro de la Tierra Universal | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: January 26, 2019 | New York | Arader Galleries
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$218,091 | Tychonis Brahe, Dani De nova et nullius aevi memoria | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 9, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$212,500 | SATURN V & SATURN IB/ APOLLO FIRING ROOM CONTROL PANELS | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 20, 2019 | New York | Sotheby's
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$212,500 | NEWTON, Isaac, Sir (1642-1727). Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 5, 2019 | Chicago | Hindman
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$210,261 | Apollo 14 LM Simulator Computer Display and Keyboard (DSKY) from MIT Instrumentation Laboratory | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: April 16, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
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$208,000 | Gould's Birds of Asia | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 17, 2019 | New York | Arader Galleries
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$205,807 | Hawking proposes an exciting new definition for space-time singularity | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 23, 2019 | Online | Christie's
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$205,000 | Rare Theropod Dinosaur Skull. Allosaurus fragilis | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: September 28, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$203,026 | The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 16, 2019 | Paris | Aguttes
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$200,000 | Topaz. Xanda Mine, Virgem da Lapa, Minas Gerais, Brazil | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 26, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$187,500 | Crystallized Gold. Eagle's Nest Mine (Mystery Wind Mine). Sage Hill, Michigan | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 20, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$187,500 | Voyage dans l’intérieur de l’Amérique du Nord executé pendant les années 1832, 1833, et 1834 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 12, 2019 | New York | Christie's
Quartz (amethyst), Calcite; 37 cm across. Andre Jachetti Mine, Artigas, Artigas Department, Uruguay. Rock H. Currier collection (5920); Mark Mauthner photo.
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$187,500 | Quartz var. Amethyst with Epitaxial Amethyst & Goethite on Calcite "Skunk". | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 26, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$180,000 | Hero 'Jupiter 2' spaceship filming miniature from Lost in Space | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 17, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
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$175,000 | Apollo 11 Lunar Module Flown Section of the Wright Flyer's Wing Fabric, Position #44, Flown as Part of the First Successful Powered Controlled Flight in History at Kitty Hawk in 1903 as well as the First Manned Lunar Landing in 1969, Directly From The Arm | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 11, 2019 | Online | Heritage Auctions
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$175,000 | FLOWN APOLLO 11 FLIGHT PLAN SHEET “LIFTOFF” — THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST MISSION TO LAND ON THE MOON | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 20, 2019 | New York | Sotheby's
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$175,000 | Apollo 11 Lunar Module Flown Piece of the Wright Flyer Propeller | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 11, 2019 | Online | Heritage Auctions
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$154,020 | An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 16, 2019 | Paris | Aguttes
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$150,075 | Prototype of the Macintosh Personal Computer | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 4, 2019 | New York | Bonhams
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$138,798 | John F. Kennedy's personal 'victory map' of Cuba used during the Cuban Missile Crisis | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 1, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
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$137,500 | Non-Cooperative Games by NASH, JR. John Forbes | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 25, 2019 | New York | Christies
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$137,271 | DA QING WAN NIAN YI TONG DI LI TU. GEOGRAPHICAL MAP OF THE GREAT QING DYNASTY. JIAQING PERIOD (1760-1820) | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$136,576 | Trew | Hortus Nitidissimis, 1750-1786 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 12, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$135,009 | Le Flambeau de la Navigation monstrant la description by BLAEU, Willem Janszoon | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 5, 2019 | London | Christies
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$133,304 | Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: March 26, 2019 | Zurich | Koller
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$132,000 | original concept artwork for 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968) | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 18, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
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$129,197 | THEATRUM ORBIS TERRARUM by Ortelius, Abraham | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$125,000 | General Map of the Middle British Colonies, in America by EVANS, LEWIS | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 6, 2019 | New York | Swann Galleries
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$125,000 | Gold Nugget "Screaming Man". Kurnalpi Goldfield, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Shire. Western Australia | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 20, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$124,623 | Harmonices mundi libri V. by KEPLER, Johannes | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 9, 2019 | London | Christies
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$123,909 | Les liliacées by Pierre Joseph Redouté | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 27, 2019 | Hamburg | Ketterer Kunst
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$121,122 | THE THEATRE OF THE EMPIRE OF GREAT BRITAIN | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$120,508 | Jacquin | Plantarum rariorum Horti Caesarei Schönbrunnensis descriptiones et icones. 1797–1804, 4 volumes | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 12, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$120,508 | Colom | Atlas ou Colom Ardante, 1668 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 12, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$115,288 A Narrative of the Proceedings Relative to the Discovery of the Longitude at Sea (1765) by John Harrison Auction Description | December 11, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$112,474 | Champlain | Les voyages de la Novvelle France occidentale, dite Canada, 1640 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 12, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$111,593 | Malling-Hansen "Writing Ball", 1867 - is this a scientiific artifact? | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 18, 2019 | Köln | Auction Team Breker
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$111,184 | Voyage autour du Monde sur la frégate la Vénus pendant les années 1836-1839. | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 5, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$111,184 | Voyage au Pôle Sud et dans l'Océanie sur les corvettes l'Astrolabe et la Zélée. | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 5, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$110,500 | Gould's Birds of Europe | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 17, 2019 | New York | Arader Galleries
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$109,800 | Correspondence Between Professor Einstein and his Colleague Dr. Gustav Mie, about the Theory of General Relativity. Germany, 1917-1926 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: April 8, 2019 | Jerusalem | Winner's Auctions
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$109,752 | Schlüsselgerät 41 (SG-41) “Hitler mill” | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | Munich | Hermann Historica
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$108,000 | Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded To Aage Niels Bohr 1975 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: April 29, 2019 | Chicago | Heritage Auctions
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$100,075 | Green safety plug and a red arming plug from "Little Boy", the First Atomic Bomb dropped on Japan. | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 12, 2019 | Online | Bonhams
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$100,000 | BLOCH, Marcus Elieser (1723-1799). Ichthyologie, ou Histoire naturelle, generale et particuliere des poissons | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 12, 2019 | New York | Christie's
Dioptase, Wulfenite; 7.5 cm across. Mammoth St. Anthony Mine, Tiger, Pinal County, Arizona, USA. Rock H. Currier collection (1608); Mark Mauthner photo.
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$100,000 | Dioptase & Wulfenite | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 26, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$100,000 | APOLLO 11 CHECKLIST SHEET USED ON THE LUNAR SURFACE PREPARATIONS TO WALK ON THE MOON LUNAR SURFACE FLOWN | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 20, 2019 | New York | Sotheby's
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$114,000 | Imperial Stormtrooper blaster from ‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’ | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 19, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
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$93,750 | Autograph letter signed (“A. Einstein”) to Paul Epstein, Princeton, n.d | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 12, 2019 | New York | Christie's
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$93,750 | Gibeon Meteorite. Iron, IVA. Great Nama Land, Namibia | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: September 28, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$90,000 | Weird Science #19 Complete 7-Page Story "The One Who Waits" | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 3, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$88,823 | Mitchell, John - A MAP OF THE BRITISH AND FRENCH DOMINIONS IN NORTH AMERICA | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$88,586 | Vance Brand's A7LB Suit TMG Assembly | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: April 18, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
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$88,373 | Loon | Klaer-lichtende noort-star ofte Zee-atlas, 1666 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 12, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$88,373 | Merian and Rabel | Histoire générale des insectes de Surinam et de toute l'Europe, 1771, 3 volumes | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 12, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$87,500 | Delineatio Orarum Manicongi, Angolae by PLANCIUS, PETRUS | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 6, 2019 | New York | Swann Galleries
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$87,500 | The Moon Conquerors, Science Wonder Quarterly cover, Winter 1930 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$87,500 | American oak book cabinet from the personal library of Edward S. Curtis, built to hold the volumes and supplemental folios of ‘The North American Indian’ | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 2, 2019 | New York | Christie's
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$86,100 | Tin Litho Battery Operated Machine Man Robot | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: March 29, 2019 | Denver, PA | Morphy
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$85,870 | Roses by Pierre Joseph Redouté| Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 18, 2019 | Paris | Sotheby's
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$84,500 | Gould's Birds of Great Britain | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 17, 2019 | New York | Arader Galleries
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$84,115 | Steve Jobs Macintosh System Tools Version 6.0 floppy disk | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 4, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
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$82,349 PAIR OF DUTCH TABLE GLOBES by GERARD AND LEONARD VALK, CIRCA 1750 Auction Description | December 11, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$81,250 | Autograph letter signed (“A. Einstein”) to Paul Epstein, Princeton, 8 November 1945 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 12, 2019 | New York | Christie's
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$81,250 Neil Armstrong's Personally Owned and Worn Early Apollo-Era Flight Suit | July 18, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$81,210 | First edition of the first nine parts of De Bry's Grands Voyages | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 18, 2019 | Paris | Aguttes
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$77,518 | Rocque, John | A PLAN OF THE CITIES OF LONDON AND WESTMINSTER AND BOROUGH OF SOUTHWARK | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$78,000 | Frankenstein (Universal, 1931) Lobby Card | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 24, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$77,518 | Rocque, John | A PLAN OF THE CITIES OF LONDON AND WESTMINSTER AND BOROUGH OF SOUTHWARK | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$71,500 | Gould's Monograph of Trogonidae | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 17, 2019 | New York | Arader Galleries
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$68,750 | Saturn v rocket model, signed and inscribed by various astronauts | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 20, 2019 | New York | Sotheby's
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$65,625 | Hand from the Void, Super Science Stories cover, January 1951 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$65,000 | Gould's Monograph of the Ramphastidae | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 17, 2019 | New York | Arader Galleries
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$78,000 | William Shatner 'Captain James T. Kirk' wraparound tunic from Star Trek: The Original Series | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 17, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
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$64,818 | SET OF 6 DRAWINGS with autograph notes by Thomas Edison | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 18, 2019 | Paris | Aguttes
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$58,500 | Audubon's Birds of America Octavo | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 17, 2019 | New York | Arader Galleries
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$57,600 | The Invisible Man (Universal, 1933) Lobby Card | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 24, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$56,562 | Galileo, Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 19, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$52,630 | Autograph manuscript in French 'Principals of optics and astronomy' (1745) by Émilie du Châtelet| Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 18, 2019 | Paris | Sotheby's
Wulfenite; 18.5 cm tall. Glove Mine, Devil's Cash Box Ridge, Amado, Cottonwood Canyon, Tyndall District, Santa Rita Mts, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA. Rock H. Currier collection (5211); Mark Mauthner photo.
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$50,000 | Wulfenite. Glove Mine, Glove Mine Group, Cottonwood Canyon | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 26, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$60,000 | Animatronic Tauntaun face from Star Wars: Episode V. | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 19, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
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$49,409 | Autograph manuscript (1670) by Robert Hooke | Christie's | London | Sold: December 11, 2019
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$48,449 | Blaeu, Joan | NOVUM AC MAGNUM THEATRUM URBIUM BELGICAE FOEDERATE | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$45,500 | Smith Terrestrial and Celestial Globes | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 17, 2019 | New York | Arader Galleries
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$44,437 | 11-inch Elephant Bird egg | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$44,080 | Sholes & Glidden Typewriter, 1873 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 12, 2019 | Köln | Auction Team Breker
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$42,500 | Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune. From Frank Herbert's Novel Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune. From Frank Herbert's Novel | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: March 6, 2019 | New York | Heritage Auctions
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$42,500 | Run to the Stars paperback cover, 1986 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$41,989 | THE AMERICAN ATLAS; OR, A GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE WHOLE CONTINENT OF AMERICA., [1776-1777 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
M40004-1_1 004
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$40,000 | [NEWTON, ISAAC, Sir.] Opticks. | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 24, 2019 | New York | Swann Galleries
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$48,000 | Michael J. Fox 'Marty McFly' hoverboard from Back to the Future II | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 19, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
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$38,750 | Infinite Worlds - the Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art book cover | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$37,995 | The foundation of modern digital computing | May 23, 2019 | Online | Christie's
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$37,995 | "Formulating the theory of gravitation" by Albert Einstein | May 23, 2019 | Online | Christie's
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$37,500 | Starship Soldier, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction cover, November 1959 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$45,000 | working Batmobile Batphone from Batman | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 17, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
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$37,500 | Space Police book dust jacket, 1956 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$37,500 | Apollo 11 NASA "Mission Implementation Plan | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 18, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$37,023 | Shuttle Attitude Director Indicator | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 17, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
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$32,500 | Fossil Snake. Unidentified Boa. Eocene | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: September 28, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$32,500 | Thuvia, Maid of Mars interior book illustration, 1920 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
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$32,299 | Apianus, Petrus | TIPUS ORBIS UNIVERSALIS IUXTA PTOLEMEI COSMOGRAPHI TRADITIONEM ET AMERICI VESPUCII | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 14, 2019 | London | Sotheby's
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$31,960 | Reconstruction of a 'Pumpkin' Test Bomb | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 9, 2019 | Köln | Auction Team Breker
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$31,741 | Extraterrestrial steel | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | London | Christie's
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$31,689 | The Plague - autograph manuscript by Sir Isaac Newton | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 18, 2019 | Paris | Aguttes
148/223
$31,663 | "On finite and infinite dimensions" by Stephen Hawking | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 23, 2019 | Online | Christie's
149/223
$31,292 | De architectura libri dece (1st century BCE) by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio | December 11, 2019 | London | Christie's
150/223
$31,200 | Star Trek The Next Generation, Qo'noS First City | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 24, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
151/223
$31,200 | The Spirit Sunday Strip "Outer Space" Page 1 Original Art | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: February 23, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
152/223
$36,000 | Klingon' Disruptor from Star Trek: The Original Series | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 17, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
153/223
$30,000 | Mosasaur Skull. Tylosaurus proriger. Late Cretaceous | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: September 28, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
154/223
$28,496 | "On the history and future of particle physics" by Werner Heisenberg | May 23, 2019 | Online | Christie's
155/223
$27,500 | Maza of the Moon, Argosy cover, December 21, 1929 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
156/223
$27,368 | MANUSCRIPT autograph by Albert Einstein -The field equations in first approximation, circa 1930 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 18, 2019 | Paris | Aguttes
157/223
$27,037 | Rocket Ship Evening Bag | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 11, 2019 | London | Christie's
158/223
$26,250 | Fulgurite. Sahara Desert. Egypt | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: September 28, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
159/223
$23,600 | John Deere Sample Plow | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 8, 2019 | Davenport | Mecum
160/223
$22,500 | History of Manned Spaceflight Book containing Hundreds of Signatures | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 16, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
161/223
$22,000 | Nikolai Budarin's Flown Omega X-33 Watch | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 17, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
162/223
$21,600 | The Day the Earth Stood Still (20th Century Fox, 1951) | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 24, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
163/223
$21,600 | Woolly Rhinoceros Horn | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: September 28, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
164/223
$21,250 | Neil Armstrong's Personal Copy of the July 25, 1969, "Leaving For The Moon" LIFE magazine | July 18, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
165/223
$24,576 | Stormtrooper' helmet from Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 19, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
166/223
167/223
$20,400 | Star Trek comic | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 24, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
168/223
$20,251 | Almagestum seu magnae constructionis mathematicae opus by Claudius Ptolemaeus | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 9, 2019 | London | Christie's
169/223
$18,998 | Albert Einstein by Salvador Dalí | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 23, 2019 | Online | Christie's
170/223
$17,457 | T-Rex tooth | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | London | Christie's
171/223
$16,800 | Star Trek - Deep Space 9, Cardassia Prime | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 24, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
172/223
$16,250 | Galactic Patrol, Astounding Stories interior illustration, September 1937 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
173/223
$16,250 | Omni magazine cover, October 1992 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
174/223
$16,250 | Day of the Triffids, Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction #1 cover, January 1975 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
175/223
$16,250 | Unissued c. 1980s Gilt Nobel Prize Medal | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: September 21, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
176/223
$15,600 | The War of the Worlds (Paramount, 1953). | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 29, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
177/223
$13,988 | Space Shuttle Omega X-33 Watch | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 17, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
178/223
$13,200 | The Phantom Empire (Mascot, 1935) | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 24, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
179/223
$13,200 | Return of the Jedi (20th Century Fox, 1983) Poster | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 28, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
180/223
$13,000 | Albert Einstein's childhood toy | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 20, 2019 | New York | Kestenbaum
181/223
$12,696 | Jewelry of the Gods | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | London | Christie's
182/223
$12,665 | autographed Feynman diagram | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | London | Christie's
183/223
$12,501 | Alexander Graham Bell Letter | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 10, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
184/223
$12,500 | Original "Snoopy Astronaut" Doll Directly From The Armstrong Family Collection | July 18, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
185/223
$14,400 | Maxwell Smart' signature shoe phone from Get Smart | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 17, 2019 | Los Angeles | Profiles in History
186/223
$10,625 | Complete set of the Southern Hemisphere, South Pole, and Pacific Ocean voyages | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 24, 2019 | New York | Swann Galleries
187/223
$10,208 | James Lovell's Apollo 13 Flown Lunar Map | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: April 18, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
188/223
$9,600 | 2001 - A Space Odyssey (MGM, 1969) Poster | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 24, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
189/223
$9,499 | On the role of intellectuals in promoting peace Albert Einstein | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 23, 2019 | Online | Christie's
190/223
$8,825 | Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 4, 2019 | New York | Bonhams
191/223
$8,395 | Space Shuttle Liquid Cooled and Ventilation Garment (LCVG) | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 17, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
192/223
$8,250 | Night on Titan, Venture Science Fiction, May 1958 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
193/223
$7,142 | Triceratops Vertebra | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | London | Christie's
194/223
$6,993 | Marie Curie Letter | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 12, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
195/223
$6,348 | Gemstones from outer space | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | London | Christie's
196/223
$6,300 | Forbidden Planet (MGM, 1956) Poster | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 20, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
197/223
$6,255 | Apollo Astronauts Signed 'From the Earth to the Moon' Book | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 20, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
198/223
$5,850 | Soviet SA-6 SAM Missile | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: March 6, 2019 | Herefordshire | Brightwells
199/223
$5,814 | Marconi Type 31C Crystal Receiver, c. 1910 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 18, 2019 | Köln | Auction Team Breker
200/223
$5,500 | six-inch Megalodon tooth | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | London | Christie's
201/223
202/223
$5,470 | Valeri Polyakov's Sokol KV Spacesuit Gloves | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 17, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
203/223
$5,378 | Lamson Pencil Sharpener 1885 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 12, 2019 | Köln | Auction Team Breker
204/223
$4,857 | Thomas Arithmomètre circa 1870 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 12, 2019 | Köln | Auction Team Breker
205/223
$4,813 | Sikhote-Alin Iron Meteorite Whole Individual | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 12, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
206/223
$4,050 | Elementorum geometricorum libri XV' by Euclides | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 9, 2019 | London | Christie's
207/223
$3,875 | Arthur C. Clarke. 2001: A Space Odyssey. New York: 1968. First edition | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
208/223
$3,720 | Metropolis (UFA, 1927) lobby card| Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 28, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
209/223
$3,174 | The extinct survivor | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: May 24, 2019 | London | Christie's
210/223
$3,126 | Philip K. Dick letter | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: February 6, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
211/223
$2,756 | Space Cover Collection | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 20, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
212/223
$2,500 | Motorolla Dynatac 8000X | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 21, 2019 | Online | E-Bay
213/223
$2,318 | Gemini Rocketdyne SE-6 RCS Thruster | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 17, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
214/223
$2,125 | Newsweek October 14, 1968 From The Armstrong Family Collection | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 16, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
215/223
$2,069 | Sally Ride Signed Book and Photograph | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: June 20, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
216/223
$1,935 | Space Shuttle Speed Brake/Thrust Control | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 17, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
217/223
$1,920 | Brick Bradford No. 6. | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: February 3, 2019 | Chicago | Potter & Potter
218/223

$1,791 | Space Shuttle EMU Suit Boot | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: October 17, 2019 | Boston | RR Auction
219/223
$1,750 | Mercury Seven: Silver Spacesuit Photo Signed by Six (Missing Grissom). | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: November 16, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions
220/223
$1,657 | Air Escape Plan, Hiroshima Atomic Mission, 6 Aug. 1945. Autograph diagram | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: December 12, 2019 | Online | Bonhams
221/223
$1,250 | Amazing Stories V3 N5. First Appearance of Buck Rogers. | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: July 28, 2019 | Chicago | Potter & Potter
222/223
$921 | 2000 AD #1037 (1997) - "Slaine vs Cyth" Original Signed Front Cover Artwork | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: September 6, 2019 | London | Excalibur
223/223
$906 | Karel Capek. R.U.R. London: 1923 | Highlights of the 2019 Science & Technology Auction Year | Sold: August 14, 2019 | Dallas | Heritage Auctions

A fascinating pictorial cornucopia of landmark books, manuscripts, scientific apparatus, technological marvels and mementoes of yesteryear that sold at auction during 2019.

Each January, we produce our highlights of the previous science and technology auction year. The aim is to offer insight for technologically-well-informed people into the remarkable artefacts of science, technology and science fiction that come to market each year, and on the investment potential of these items.

Curating this listing is the best job of the year, a labour of love of science and technology that seeks to record the incredible objects thrown up by ever-increasing educational levels and awareness of our rich scientific heritage. Objects that once went into landfill are now finding their way to the auction block, and onwards to a global audience that does appreciate them.

This year we’ve included science fiction artefacts sold at auction, significantly increasing the size of the market, and substantially increasing the fascination at what we bought in 2019.

Perhaps the most telling of sci-fi artefacts in 2019 was the $1.152 million sale of Darth Vader’s mask and helmet from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Recent sales of sci-fi movie memorabilia suggest the trend has yet to fully play out, and science fiction memorabilia is definitely on the rise.

So too are scientific manuscripts and artefacts – the market in 2019 was much stronger than in previous years.

Please note that all prices are listed in USD, and those which sold in a foreign currency have been converted to USD at the prevailing exchange rates on the day of sale. Links to all auction descriptions, online digital copies of the documents and high resolution images are included in the article.

$906 | Karel Capek. R.U.R. London: 1923

Heritage Auctions Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

Science fiction was a genre on the rise in the 1920s, and the 1920 science fiction play “R.U.R” by the Czech writer Karel Čapek premiered on January 25, 1921. R.U.R. stands for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti and the English translation "Rossum's Universal Robots" introduced the word "robot" to the English language and a new concept to science fiction and subsequently, reality.

The Robots described in Čapek's play are not robots in the popularly understood sense of an automaton. They are not mechanical devices, but rather artificial biological organisms that resemble more modern conceptions of man-made life forms, such as the Replicants in Blade Runner, the "hosts" in the Westworld TV series and the humanoid Cylons in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, but in Čapek's time there was no conception of modern genetic engineering.

Sold on August 14, 2019, this small book might be one of the true bargains of the entire year at that price. When the word “robot” celebrates its 100th birthday a year from now, it will be one of the few known copies of the original book. 101 years from now, our bet is that it will be worth a fortune, because robots will be ubiquitous by then.

$921 | Original front cover artwork from 2000 AD #1037 (1997) - Slaine vs Cyth

Excalibur Auction Description

London | September 6, 2019

Original artwork for magazines has soared in value in recent times, and some of the most memorable magazine covers of our youth are now fetching considerable sums at auction. This signed 2000 AD cover illustration by artist Dermot Power, featuring the characters SLAINE & CYTH may offer reliving memories as an artwork, or a sound investment … or both.

$1,250 | The first appearance of Buck Rogers (1928)

Potter & Potter Auction Description


Chicago | July 28, 2019

The space opera hero Buck Rogers made his first appearance in Amazing Stories, a science fiction magazine, in August, 1928, when he featured in a story entitled “Armageddon 2419 A.D.” by Philip Francis Nowlan. Buck went on to stardom, at first in a syndicated newspaper comic strip (1929) then a radio program in 1932 and finally a television series. The popularity of the Buck Rogers comic strip meant rival newspaper comic strip syndicates had to produce their own space operas, with the best-known being Flash Gordon who appeared in newspapers from 1934 onwards.

Amazing Stories was a quality magazine from the very beginning, giving many now famous sci-fi writers getting their big break.

$1,657 | Air Escape Plan, Hiroshima Atomic Mission Autograph diagram

Bonhams Auction Description

Online | December 12, 2019

An autograph diagram by Major Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, depicting the escape plan of the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the first nuclear weapon on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Van Kirk was the navigator of the Enola Gay, and this sheet details the numbers and the major events of the flight. The bomb was dropped at 30,060 ft at 285 knots, and detonated at 1890 ft some 43 seconds after release.

$1,750 | Autographed photo of the Mercury Seven

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 16, 2019

Project Mercury was the United States’ first human spaceflight program, beginning in 1958 and finishing in 1963. The seven astronauts used in Project Mercury were Lt. Commander M. Scott Carpenter, United States Navy (USN); Capt. Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr., United States Air Force (USAF); Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr., United States Marine Corps (USMC); Capt. Virgil I. Grissom, USAF; Lt. Commander Walter M. Schirra, Jr., USN; Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr., USN; and Capt. Donald K. Slayton, USAF, who are all pictured here, with six having signed the photo (Grissom missing).

$1,791 | Space Shuttle EMU Suit Boot

RR Auction Description

Boston | October 17, 2019

What the well-heeled astronaut was using 40 years ago. This right boot assembly for the Space Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) was manufactured in July, 1983, and was previously on display at The Spaceflight America Museum and Science Center in Prince Frederick, Maryland.

$1,920 | Brick Bradford No. 6.

Potter & Potter Auction Description

Chicago | February 3, 2019

Sci-fi comic strip character Brick Bradford was one of the many competitors for Buck Rogers, and was popularized by King Features Syndicate which syndicated Brick into newspapers across the world, from 1933 to 1987. Brick had his own comic book with original stories for a short period, of which this lot is one example. Columbia Pictures also produced a 15-chapter serial film in 1947.

$1,935 | Space Shuttle Speed Brake/Thrust Control

RR Auction Description

Boston | October 17, 2019

This Speed Brake/Thrust Control unit was manufactured by Honeywell for use in the Space Shuttle program, most likely for the Enterprise, based on the date of manufacture – November, 1975. Bearing in mind that space exploration is still in its infancy, this inexpensive artefact might well be worth a lot of money a few generations from now, making it a long-term family heirloom.

$2,069 | Sally Ride Signed Book and Photograph

RR Auction Description

Boston | June 20, 2019

Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983, and the third woman in space overall, after USSR cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova (1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (1982). Ride is still the youngest American astronaut to have travelled to space. After flying twice on the Orbiter Challenger, she left NASA in 1987. This signed photograph is inscribed, "'Boldly go!' Best wishes, Sally K. Ride" and the accompanying book is a second edition hardcover copy of Voyager: An Adventure to the Edge of the Solar System, published by Sally Ride Science in 2005, and signed by Ride.

$2,125 | Newsweek October 14, 1968 From The Armstrong Family Collection

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 16, 2019

With the moon landing of July 1969 still nine months away, the public was counting down to the historic moment and the most prominent magazines were narrating the preparations to the world. This copy of NewsWeek dated October 14, 1968 needs little explanation, being direct from the Armstrong Family Collection.

$2,318 | Gemini Rocketdyne SE-6 RCS Thruster

RR Auction Description

Boston | October 17, 2019

An uncommon and desirable piece of NASA rocket hardware, this SE-6 Thruster was manufactured by Rocketdyne for the Gemini Space Capsule. Each Gemini capsule had 16 such thrusters in the nose for maneuvering and control of the spacecraft’s attitude during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

The thrusters were famously utilized during the Gemini 8 re-entry when the capsule began to spin dangerously out of control. Staying calm under pressure, Neil Armstrong fired the RCS thrusters to regain stability.

$2,500 | Motorolla Dynatac 8000X

E-Bay Auction Description

December 21, 2019 | Online

The Motorolla DynaTAC became the first commercially available cell phone on September 21, 1983. The rest is history, with two-thirds of the planet’s inhabitants now carrying a cell phone. The DynaTAC specifications are worth considering in retrospect – it took 10 hours to charge, offered just 30 minutes of talk time, could save just 30 phone numbers and cost $4000 in 1983. In 2083, what will a perfect example of the world’s first cell phone be worth – certainly a lot more than the $2500 they’re selling for now.

$2,756 | Space Cover Collection

RR Auction Description

Boston | June 20, 2019

Before email was ... mail ... and it recorded important events better than any other medium. This fantastic collection of 263 First Day Covers and commemorative covers with cachets honoring the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, pioneers in rocket science and space exploration, and a vast array of historic NASA launches, rockets, missiles, probes, and satellites. All of the covers are unsigned, with many postmarked between 1959 and 1974 at locations like Cape Canaveral or aboard various recovery ships.

$3,126 | A letter from sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick

RR Auction Description

Boston | February 6, 2019

A two-page signed letter by one of the most influential science fiction writers of all-time. Philip Dick published 44 novels and around 120 short stories, almost all of them in the sci-fi genre. Dick's works have been produced as movies many times, including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (in 1990 and again in 2012), Minority Report (2002), A Scanner Darkly (2006), and The Adjustment Bureau (2011). The novel The Man in the High Castle (1962) was made into a multi-season television series by Amazon in 2015

$3,174 | The extinct survivor

Christie's Auction Description

London | May 24, 2019

Though now extinct, the trilobite was one of Planet Earth's great survivors, first appearing in the fossil record 520 million years ago before finally falling prey to the Permian extinction after nearly 300 million successful years. Trilobites were so common and diverse that they are often used by geologists and paleontologists to date the rock formations in which they are found.

This 11-inch fossil specimen of Acadoparadoxides briareus was found in Morocco and dates from the mid-Cambrian (509-497 million years ago) period, measuring 15 x 24 x 2 ½ inches (38 x 61 x 6.5cm).

$3,720 | Metropolis (UFA, 1927) Lobby Card

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | July 28, 2019

The most valuable movie poster in history was produced for the epic 1927 silent movie classic Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000 and one of the first feature films to in the science fiction genre. As posters for the movie are rare and expensive, and the movie holds a special place in the genre, any artefact is expensive, as can be seen from the price fetched by this lobby card - $3,720!

The Metropolis poster sold for $690,000 at a Reel Galleries auction in November, 2005. German artist Heinz Schulz-Neudamm (1899-1969) created the poster, the novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou (1888-1954), and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang (1890-1976). You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.

$3,875 | A first edition copy of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968) by Arthur C. Clarke

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

This first edition, first printing of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is a rare beast in more ways than one. It is based on a screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and is hence a novelization of the treatment that would also become Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film of the same name, and one of the most important science fiction films of all time.

$4,050 | Elementorum geometricorum libri XV (circa 300 B.C) by Euclides

Christie's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | July 9, 2019

Readers will recognize some of the diagrams in this book from the textbooks of their youth.

Greek mathematician Euclid of Alexandria wrote Elementorum geometricorum libri XV around 300 BC, and it has remained the primary textbook for teaching mathematics in general and geometry in particular, until the early 20th century. Hence Euclid's Elements is unquestionably the most influential textbook ever written.

It is the only writing of classical antiquity to have a continuous history of textbook use from the pre-Christian era to the twentieth century. It was originally written by Euclid in Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt c. 300 BC, translated from the Arabic text 900 years ago by Adelard of Bath, edited 800 years ago by Campanus of Novara, and first printed in Venice on May 25, 1482. It was hence one of the very earliest mathematical works to be printed after the invention of the printing press and has been estimated to be second only to the Bible in the number of editions published since the first printing in 1482.

Last year Christie’s sold a first edition of this work, printed in Venice in May, 1482 for £284,750 ($376,905), making it the second most expensive copy ever sold, behind only another first edition sold by Sotheby's in 2001 for $511,750.

$4,813 | Sikhote-Alin Iron Meteorite Whole Individual

RR Auction Description

Boston | June 12, 2019

This meteorite originates from the largest recorded meteorite fall in history, on February 12, 1947, over the Sikhote-Alin Mountains in Siberia, Russia. The Sikhote-Alin iron meteorite features a remnant black fusion crust caused by extreme heat during meteorite's flight, as well as abundant and delicate flowlines caused when part of the meteorite's surface became molten. Meteorites offer a fine investment as demand will continue to rise much faster than supply does.

$4,857 | Thomas Arithmomètre circa 1870

Team Breker Auction Description

Köln | October 12, 2019

The availability of seemingly any technological marvel imaginable these days belies the progress of recent times. Patented just 200 years ago this year, and produced commercially from 1851 until 1915, the Thomas Arithmomètre was the world’s first first digital mechanical calculator strong enough and reliable enough to be used daily in an office environment. Given its 200 year anniversary, the Arithmomètre might get a bit more attention from mainstream media this year. Given there were only 1000 ever made, and far fewer survive, this technological milestone commands a relatively modest price.

$5,378 | Lamson Pencil Sharpener 1885

Team Breker Auction Description

Köln | October 12, 2019

The humble pencil was once a “killer app.” Prior to the pencil, writing was done with pen and ink. The simplicity and convenience of the pencil, in conjunction with a rubber eraser, made it a must have tool for recording any outdoor endeavor. Mass-production of pencils was not achieved until the 1800s, and the grandiose Lamson pencil sharpener of 130 years ago suggests the respect in which it was held as a tool of commerce. In working environments where a sharp pencil was paramount, this was cutting edge efficiency.

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$5,470 | Valeri Polyakov's Sokol KV Spacesuit Gloves

RR Auction Description

Boston | October 17, 2019

This pair of space-flown 1980 cosmonaut Sokol-KV2 Rescue Suit gloves would be worth $5000 without their extraordinary provenance. These were the gloves used by Soviet/Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov during his stay aboard the Mir Space Station which began on January 8, 1994 and lasted until March 22, 1995 – a grand total of 437 days, 17 hours and 58 minutes, the longest any human has been continuously in space. Before becoming a career cosmonaut, Polyakov was a medical doctor, and volunteered for long stays in space to study the effects of weightlessness on the human body. Polyakov is by far the most experienced space traveller in history, with a total 678 days in space.

$5,500 | six-inch Megalodon tooth

Christie's Auction Description

London | May 24, 2019

The Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon) is an extinct species of shark that lived until 5 million years ago.

Its ancestry is subject to considerable debate, with current thought suggesting it diverged from the Great White Shark family during the early Cretaceous Period.

It is the largest carnivorous fish species known, and is thought to have grown to lengths approaching that of the contemporary Blue Whale.

The megalodon was hence one of the largest, most powerful and most fearsome predators to have ever lived. Scientists have calculated that megalodon jaws could exert a bite force of up to 180,000 newtons (40,000 lbf), with teeth designed for grabbing prey and crushing bone. This megalodon tooth is six inches long, and was found in the Hawthorn Formation in South Carolina.

A full Megalodon jaw went to auction a few years back at Bonhams, presented in fully open pose just as its prey would have seen as it closed in for the kill – the open jaw measured 8 feet high and 9.5 feet wide, and the largest tooth in the jaw (pictured above) was 7 inches, so this six-inch tooth that sold for $5,500 would not be out of place in this jaw, which is big enough to swallow a Cadillac Escalade without it touching the sides. Look closely at the bottom of the picture and you’ll see a packet of cigarettes.

$5,814 | Marconi Type 31C Crystal Receiver, c. 1910

Team Breker Auction Description

Köln | May 18, 2019

This was a landmark device in its day, being part of Marconi’s astonishing new technology that could send messages ship-to-ship for the first time. Marconi had promoted the idea of wireless to the public long before he had a commercially viable technology. When RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic in 1912, there were 1500 lost souls but most significant at the time were the 724 who survived because nearby ships could be called. The Titanic tragedy was ironically Marconi’s most significant moment, and it would have been receivers such as this that revealed the message from across the water. The above image shows the receiver from two different angles.

$5,850 | Soviet SA-6 SAM Missile

Brightwells Auction Description

Herefordshire | March 6, 2019

This 2K12 Kub mobile surface-to-air missile made it to market when scramjet rocket engineer, Professor Alexander Roudakov sold off his collection.

Designed designed by the Soviets during the latter half of the Cold War to protect ground forces from air attack, the 5.9 meter long rocket carries 59 kg of High Explosive and travels at Mach 1.75 (1,345 mph) in pursuit of its airborn prey.

Typically launched from a tracked vehicle (pictured but not part of the sale), some 10,000 such 2K 12 Kub missiles were produced, alongside around 500 launch vehicles, becoming one of the most widely used SAM systems in the world, deployed by Soviet, Warsaw Pact and many other armed forces.

This missile has been rendered inert, so it’s only for show, though a Zil Rocket Launcher was sold in 2018 that would have been quite suitable for launching this missile.

The SAM did not sell, but $5,850 would have secured this wonderful keepsake, complete with its aptly named traveling "sarcophagus."

$6,255 | Apollo Astronauts Signed 'From the Earth to the Moon' Book

RR Auction Description

Boston | June 20, 2019

A delightful momento, this is an illustrated edition of From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne, 1918. Hardcover, 5.25 x 7.75, 323 pages, signed by 11 Apollo astronauts: Walt Cunningham (Apollo 7); Jim McDivitt (Apollo 9), Buzz Aldrin (Apollo XI), Alan Bean (Apollo 12), Fred Haise (Apollo 13), James Lovell (Apollo 8 & 13), Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14), Dave Scott (Apollo 15), Richard Gordon, (Apollo XII), Frank Borman (Apollo 8) and Gene Cernan, Apollo X & XVII).

$6,300 | Forbidden Planet (MGM, 1956) Poster

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | July 20, 2019

The best known 1950s science fiction movie, Forbidden Planet is now classified by the Library of Congress' National Film Registry, as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Original posters of significant and much loved movies will continue to appreciate in value, and the significance of Robby the Robot was validated a few years back when the original Robby sold for $5,375,000, becoming one of the most valuable props in movie history.

$6,348 | Gemstones from outer space

Christie's Auction Description

London | May 24, 2019

From the Fukang, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (the home of the best known meteorite in history), this partial slice of a meteorite features a mosaic of sparkling olivine and peridot in a gleaming iron-nickel matrix, which has been polished to a mirror finish on both sides.

$6,993 | Marie Curie appeals for funding

RR Auction Description

Boston | June 12, 2019

Marie Curie is one of science’s greatest names. Marie and her husband Pierre received the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics for discovering two new elements, polonium and radium. Marie Curie then won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry in her own right. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win the Nobel prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields.

During World War I, the relentlessly active scientist invented a mobile x-ray unit and trained 150 women to operate it, becoming famous all over again.

This signed letter, on Faculte des Sciences de Paris letterhead, is dated July 26, 1919 and requests enlarging the Institut du Radium. The institute was beginning to research the use of radiation as a cancer treatment.

$7,142 | Triceratops Vertebra

Christie's Auction Description

London | May 24, 2019

The massive three-horned Triceratops dinosaur lived in North America in the period from 68 million years ago until the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago. This Triceratops vertebra was found in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana and is 19 ½ inches (49.5 cm) tall.

$8,250 | Night on Titan, Venture Science Fiction, May 1958

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

Venture Science Fiction was an American science fiction magazine published from 1957 to 1958, and revived from 1969 and 1970. Just 10 issues were published in the 1950s, and this beautiful 20 x 15-inch illustration by Morris Scott Dollens was the cover of the May, 1958 issue entitled "Night on Titan."

$8,395 | Space Shuttle Liquid Cooled and Ventilation Garment (LCVG)

RR Auction Description

Boston | October 17, 2019

When astronauts "space walk" (known as extra-vehicular activity - EVA), they need to wear a liquid cooled garment in order to maintain core body temperature. The Liquid Cooled and Ventilation Garment (LCVG) accomplishes this task by circulating cool water through a network of flexible tubes in direct contact with the astronaut's skin. The water draws heat away from the body, resulting in a lower core temperature. The water then returns to the primary life support system (PLSS), where it is cooled in a heat exchanger before being recirculated.

$8,825 | Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication

Bonhams Auction Description

New York | December 4, 2019

The internet may yet prove to be most significant invention in history, and this is the paper, written by Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, that gave us TCP/IP. This paper represents the first publication of the work which underpins the internet. Perhaps not in the next century, but say 500 years from now, this paper might have the same significance as documenting the invention of the wheel.

$9,499 | On the role of intellectuals in promoting peace Albert Einstein

Christie's Auction Description

Online | May 23, 2019

This brief autographed note from Albert Einstein reads: "Die Gelehrten hätten als Avan-Garde des Friedens Wertvolles leisten können, als Landsturm wird man sie kaum mehr brauchen." (As the vanguard of peace, intellectuals could have achieved something valuable; as its home guard, they will hardly be of use to anyone.)

$9,600 | ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (MGM, 1969) Poster

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 24, 2019

When the 70 mm prints of 2001: A Space Odyssey were re-launched in New York City, two posters were produced that used the tagline, "The Ultimate Trip." One poster featured the Starchild that appears in the film's closing moments, and the other featured a psychedelic eye with the Starchild at its center (this poster). These rare posters were used exclusively for the campaigns as wilding posters around New York City and other metropolitan areas. Wilding posters were meant to be posted on temporary construction site walls or anywhere else they would fit.

$10,208 | James Lovell's Apollo 13 Flown Lunar Map

RR Auction Description

Boston | April 18, 2019

Apollo 13 was supposed to be NASA's third moon-landing mission but it didn’t turn out that way. This "Orbital Science Chart D" flight chart dated 11 April 1970, was carried on the Apollo 13 mission. Folded to 12 x 7.5 inches, it comprises multiple large map plates taped together in a loop. This long, continuous chart was taped and folded so that it could be flipped like a book for use in orbit. The chart was sold at auction in 2019 accompanied by a signed letter of provenance from Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, which read, in part: "I hereby certify that this Orbital Science Chart D was on board the Apollo 13 spacecraft. This lunar chart was for use by Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert circling the moon…This chart was from my personal collection of space artifacts and has been in my possession since the mission."

$10,625 | Complete set of the Southern Hemisphere, South Pole, and Pacific Ocean voyages

Swann Galleries Auction Description

New York | October 24, 2019

Comprising four volumes of A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean . . . for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere by James King and Captain James Cook, three volumes of An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere by John Hawkesworth, and two volumes of A Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World by Captain James Cook. In essence, all of the official accounts of Cook's voyages, the foundation of modern knowledge of the Pacific and a cornerstone of the literature of travel and exploration; first editions except for Volume 3 of the first voyage, which is the second edition.

$12,500 | Original "Snoopy Astronaut" Doll from The Armstrong Family Collection

Heritage Auctions Description

Dallas | July 18, 2019

This 9-inch tall snoopy doll in a space suit and helmet was produced in 1969 by Determined Productions. As the Apollo 10 Lunar Module was nicknamed Snoopy, and the Command Module nicknamed “Charlie Brown,” this doll became a mascot for the astronauts.

Apollo 10 was the last dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 moon landing, and Snoopy was flown on board Apollo 10 and then to within eight miles of the lunar surface by Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz was a big fan and friend of the U.S. space program and Snoopy was also used in the Manned Flight Awareness program.

$12,501 | Alexander Graham Bell Letter to Marconi’s Company

RR Auction Description

Boston | July 10, 2019

Dated October 9, 1902, this is a one-page letter to R. Norman Vyvyan, the "Manager, Marconi Wireless Telegraph Station, Sydney, C. B." It reads in full: "I see by the newspapers that Mr. Marconi is on his way across the Atlantic, and that he expects to receive messages from his Cape Breton Island Station. If this is so, I should be very glad if you would send him a message on the Atlantic inviting him to visit me in my Cape Breton home."

At this time, both Bell and Marconi were experimenting in Nova Scotia—Marconi with wireless telegraphy, and Graham Bell with powered, heavier-than-air flight.

$12,665 | Autographed Feynman diagram

Christie's Auction Description

London | May 24, 2019

The "Feynman diagram" is the scientist's best known contribution to theoretical physics. Feynman first introduced this ground-breaking yet brilliantly simple diagrammatic tool for visualizing the interactions between sub-atomic particles at the 1948 Pocono Conference in Pennsylvania, the second in a series of three post-war conferences convened by Robert Oppenheimer on behalf of the American National Academy of Sciences (NAS). This is the first signed Feynman diagram to appear at auction.

$12,696 | Jewelry of the Gods

Christie's Auction Description

London | May 24, 2019

This spectacular amber-hued olivine and peridot crystal specimen originates from a Seymchan meteorite sample found in Siberia in 1967. The sample has been made into a 2 ½ inch (63 mm) sphere weighing 687 grams.

$13,000 | Albert Einstein's childhood toy

Kestenbaum Auction Description

New York | June 20, 2019

Albert Einstein has perhaps the world’s finest personal and professional reputation. Time Magazine's "Person of the Century" is a most unlikely superstar. The following is the introduction to that most famous of the many awards won by Einstein: He was the embodiment of pure intellect, the bumbling professor with the German accent, a comic cliche in a thousand films. Instantly recognizable, like Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp, Albert Einstein's shaggy-haired visage was as familiar to ordinary people as to the matrons who fluttered about him in salons from Berlin to Hollywood. Yet he was unfathomably profound — the genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.

Over the last few years it seems that his every possession has been across the auction block, with his violin fetching $516,000, his Pocket Watch fetching $352,054, his old and worn leather jacket fetching $145,974, his childhood building blocks fetching $82,564, his billiard briar pipe fetching $67,665 and there are many other examples of correspondence and postcards fetching more than $100,000. By comparison, this toy is a veritable bargain.

We will never again see the likes of Einstein, and the known universe of his possessions now appears to have been exhausted. The consignor of this lot was also the consignor of the jacket and pipe.

$13,200 | ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ (20th Century Fox, 1983) Poster

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | July 28, 2019

In the world of movie posters, horror movies dominate the top 100 most valuable posters sold, though a poster from the very first sci-fi film, Fritz Lang's 1927 silent film Metropolis remains the most valuable movie poster ever sold at $690,000.

Star Wars posters will undoubtedly suffer from comparative oversupply, but the demand will forever be strong, and original posters of significant movies should appreciate in value forever.

$13,200 | The Phantom Empire (Mascot, 1935)

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 24, 2019

This movie poster from the infancy of science fiction feature movies is rare, and in terms of variations to the theme, equally as bizarre. The Phantom Empire features the improbable combination of western, musical, and science fiction genres. Singing cowboys were big in America for many decades, convincing the studio to produce a singing cowboy sci-fi story.

$14,400 | Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone from ‘Get Smart’ (CBS 1965-1970)

Profiles in History Auction Description

December 17, 2019 | Los Angeles

Get Smart was an American comedy television series created by Mel Brooks to parody the secret agent genre popularized by the James Bond franchise. Just as Bond had his gadgets, so too did the inept secret agent hero of the show, Maxwell Smart, most notably his shoe phone, which featured throughout the six seasons of the show.

$15,600 | The War of the Worlds (Paramount, 1953) Poster

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | July 29, 2019

H.G. Wells wrote The War of the Worlds between 1895 and 1897, with the landmark science fiction novel first published as a serialisation in 1897 by Pearson's Magazine in the UK and by Cosmopolitan magazine in the US. The War of the Worlds is one of the earliest stories to detail a conflict between mankind and an extra-terrestrial race and has famously been adapted for film, television and radio countless times since. The first film adaptation was the 1953 Paramount movie for which this poster was created. Unfortunately for poster collectors, much of the imagery used on the original release posters did not depict the Martian warships as seen on this poster, so it is a rarity in more ways than one.

$16,250 | ‘Day of the Triffids’ cover illustration for premier cover of ‘Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction’, January 1975

August 14, 2019 | Dallas

Heritage Auctions Description

Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction was a black-and-white, science fiction comic magazine published by Marvel Comics' parent company, Magazine Management from 1975 to 1976.

This 19.5 x 14.5 inch, acrylic on board illustration by Kelly Freas of Ray Bradbury’s story, “The Day of the Triffids” was the inaugural cover illustration for the magazine.

$16,250 | ‘Galactic Patrol’ interior illustration for ‘Astounding Stories’, September 1937

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

The period from 1938 to 1946 is often referred to as the first Golden Age of Science Fiction, and Astounding Stories magazine was at the forefront, publishing the likes of Isaac Asimov, A. E. van Vogt and Robert A. Heinlein. This Galactic Patrol interior illustration by Hans Waldemar Wesso is from a September 1937 issue.

$16,250 | Omni magazine cover, October 1992

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

Omni was a science, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal magazine with extraordinarily production values published from 1978 to 1995. The production values of the magazine are reflected in the quality of this October, 1992 cover illustration by John Conrad Berkey.

$16,250 | Unissued c. 1980s Gilt Nobel Prize Medal

RR Auction Description

Boston | September 21, 2019

This unissued Nobel Prize medal was produced in the 1980s, featuring the same design used on the Nobel Prize medals for Physics and Chemistry. The area on the medal that normally would be engraved with the recipient’s name and date is left blank.

$16,800 | Star Trek - Deep Space 9, Cardassia Prime

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 24, 2019

From the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine science fiction television series (1993 – 1999), the fourth series in the Star Trek franchise, comes this large (78.5" X 38.5") screen-used illustration of Cardassia Prime, the hostile alien planet. The illustration was used in multiplane motion control shots in conjunction with a glass foreground painting and a miniature for a forced perspective effect.

$17,457 | T-Rex tooth

Christie's Auction Description

London | May 24, 2019

Tyrannosaurus rex (the name means "tyrant lizard king") is the most iconic of dinosaurs, with a reputation considerably enhanced by a starring role in Michael Crichton's best-selling 1990 novel Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg's 1993 box office blockbuster of the same name.

This 3-inch tooth from a T-rex was found in Montana's Hell Creek Formation, and such is the power of media and the immutable laws of supply and demand, it fetched more at auction than even the most generous tooth fairy might have considered.

$18,998 | Albert Einstein by Salvador Dalí

Christie's Auction Description

Online | May 23, 2019

An etching of Albert Einstein by Salvador Dalí from his "Famous Men" series of 1968, and numbered 8 of 25, this sketch was estimated to sell for between £1,000 and £1,500 (US$1,260 to $1,890) but fetched an order of magnitude more.

$20,251 | ‘Almagestum seu magnae constructionis mathematicae opus’ (1528) by Claudius Ptolemaeus

Christie's Auction Description

London | July 9, 2019

Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus AD.100 - AD.170) was a Greek mathematician and astronomer who lived in the city of Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt. This book was originally written in Greek, but with the advent of the printing press, this book became the first published Latin translation made from the original Greek text of Ptolemy's most important astronomical and mathematical work.

A prior Latin translation had been published in Venice in 1515, but that text had been translated into Arabic and thence to Latin.

This text is incredibly important because it was the primary source for all sophisticated astronomy from the time of writing until the work of Tycho Brahe and Kepler in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries – a time span of nearly fifteen hundred years. Instruments mentioned or described include the equatorial armillary, the plinth, the meridional armillary, the triquestrum and the armillary astrolabon.

$20,400 | Star Trek #1 comic

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 24, 2019

Star Trek: The Original Series debuted in 1966 and went for just three seasons, but it did begin a franchise which is ongoing and has seen every form of publishing. The first Star Trek comics closely followed the original series in 1967 and were published for more than a decade by Gold Key prior to the franchise moving to Marvel.

This well preserved (CGC NM+ 9.6) copy of the very first Star Trek comic from 1967 will no doubt have many readers saying “I had one of those.” If you did, and you’d kept it pristine, it would now be worth $20,000!

$20,400 | ‘Romulus’ from ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ by Syd Dutton

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 24, 2019

From Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 – 1994) comes this highly detailed illustration of the Krocton Segment city district of Romulus. Painted and signed by Syd Dutton, this large (77" X 43") screen-used matte painting was used in the "Unification, Pt. 1." Episode.

$21,250 | Neil Armstrong's Personal Copy of Life magazine, July 25, 1969

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | July 18, 2019

It’s one of the most iconic images of the Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong’s full spacesuit walk to the spacecraft, captured on the cover of one of the iconic magazines of the era. By the time this magazine was published, Neil Armstrong had already set foot on the moon, but take a close look at the front of the magazine and you’ll see the subscription addressed to Neil Armstrong at his Texas address. This is a piece of history.

$21,600 | Woolly Rhinoceros Horn

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | September 28, 2019

The Woolly Rhinoceros is an extinct species of rhinoceros populous in Europe and northern Asia during the Pleistocene epoch, surviving until the end of the last glacial period – around 12,000 years ago.

It was very large, and typically measured 3 to 3.8 meters (9.8 to 12.5 ft) from head to tail, with an estimated weight of around 1,800–2,700 kg (4,000–6,000 lb).

The rather large and forward facing horn of the Woolly Rhinoceros have at various times caused some interesting conclusions to be drawn when skeletal remains have been found. A partial skeleton find in 1333 saw it pronounced to be the remains of a dragon, and a whole skeleton was found in 1663 which were declared to be the remains of a unicorn.

Regardless of which story you’d like to believe, this 37.8 inch (96 cm) Woolly Rhinoceros horn is incredibly impressive to look at, and thanks to being made of matted hair rather than bone, intact horns are rare in the fossil record.

$21,600 | The Day the Earth Stood Still (20th Century Fox, 1951) Poster

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 24, 2019

Robert Wise's 1951 classic The Day the Earth Stood Still is always in the conversation when the greatest science fiction films of all-time are discussed. This very attractive poster is rare in a genre that will keep reinventing itself if only to keep ahead of the present, so this poster will forever grow in demand, and hence, value. Considering the standing of this film genre, this 27" X 41" poster is heritage art of the finest order. The film too, is most worthy of your time if you haven’t seen it.

$22,000 | Nikolai Budarin’s Omega X-33 Watch

RR Auction Description

Boston | October 17, 2019

Omega has had a long relationship with NASA, beginning with Walter Schirra’s personal Omega Speedmaster ref. CK 2998 being the first Omega in space on the Sigma 7 mission of the 1962 Mercury Programme.

Since then, the best known product of the relationship was the Speedmaster "Moon Watch" worn during the first American spacewalk of the Gemini 4 mission, and becoming the first wristwatch worn on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

The relationship continued when Omega developed the Speedmaster Professional X-33 using Commander Tom Stafford (Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, Apollo 10, and Project Gemini) as the head of the development team, taking input from many very credible sources such as the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds.

The watch was officially launched in 1998 through a live satellite presentation aboard the Russian Mir space station, and at Houston’s Mission Control. Not surprisingly, the X-33 has been the choice of many professionals working in hostile environments ever since.

In 2016, Christie’s sold the Speedmaster X-33 worn by Russian cosmonaut Sergei Zalyotin on missions to the Mir and International Space Stations, fetching $20,000.

This almost identical watch was worn by Nikolai Buderin and topped the results of several X-33 watches sold by Remarkable Rarities Auctions in October.

$22,500 | History of Manned Spaceflight Book containing Hundreds of Signatures

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 16, 2019

This is quite an amazing assemblage of aerospace autographs, based around a First edition, Hardbound, 544 page copy of History of Manned Spaceflight by David H. Baker, but clearly the work of an avid collector who carried the book all over the United States to have it signed by any relevant celebrity in the field of aerospace. The book has been signed by countless astronauts, cosmonauts, scientists, Star Wars & Star Trek Actors and quite possibly more. The full identity of all of the people who have signed this book has not been catalogued, but it appears to have the signature of nearly every American astronaut and notables such as Dr. Stephen Hawking (thumbprint), Brian Jones & Bertrand Piccard, Chuck Yeager, Paul MacCready and more. There’s a game to be had trying to recognise who all the signatures belong to on the auction description hi-res page reproductions.

$23,600 | John Deere Sample Plow

In 1837, Illinois blacksmith John Deere designed a plow specifically for the sandy soil of the eastern United States. Word spread, and in 1839 he sold 10 plows. By 1842 he was selling 100 plows a year, and 1000 a year was surpassed inside another four years as the company grew nationally thanks to fine products and appropriate marketing … such as this salesman’s sample from the 1850s.

At just 24 x 15 x 11.5 inches, this miniature plow was used to explain the technological advantages of the John Deere plow. These days, the company is global, but it all began with a single plow. Accordingly, this is an artefact of the great American success story, a fundamental testimony to the fact that there’s always a better way, and a technological “killer app” work of art! Great value at this price.

$24,576 | Stormtrooper' helmet from ‘Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens’

Profiles in History Auction Description

December 19, 2019 | Los Angeles

Proof that it is still possible to buy a genuine screen-worn Stormtrooper helmet from a Star Wars movie without having to sell the children. This particular stormtrooper helmet was purposefully distressed for use in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens made in 2015.

After so many movies, the production standards of the later Stormtrooper helmets is much higher and they are now a more modern, much sturdier version of the iconic Stormtrooper helmets that were vacuum formed plastic in the beginning. Those helmets do however, sell for 10 times the price of this helmet, so think of it as buying into a market that will ultimately see these modern helmets sell for the same price. Follow history … you can’t go wrong.

$26,250 | Fulgurite from the Sahara Desert, Egypt

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | September 28, 2019

When lightning strikes Planet Earth, upwards of 100 million volts are rapidly discharged into the ground, melting it and causing “fulgurites.” Named from the Latin fulgur, meaning lightning, fulgurites come in many shapes, but due to their crystalline structure, they are usually too delicate to survive being dug up. This fulgurite from the Sahara desert in Egypt, is incredibly large and hence rare – some 18 inches of lightning's lasting legacy.

$27,037 | Rocket Ship Evening Bag

Christie's Auction Description

London | June 11, 2019

Just the accessory for the science obsessed female, this Lagerfeld-designed Chanel Lucite and Crystal Rocketship evening bag was created for the 2017 Fall/Winter runway season. Handbags have become a high profile collecting category in recent years – think of them as wearable art that appreciates in value. In December 2018, the only other example of this bag to reach auction sold for $21,250. Do the math!

$27,368 | MANUSCRIPT autograph by Albert Einstein -The field equations in first approximation, circa 1930

Aguttes Auction Description

Paris | November 18, 2019

This is a 4 ½ page unpublished chapter of one of Einstein’s scientific studies, complete with relevant calculations and equations. These unpublished pages relate to the theory of distant parallelism. They probably come from Einstein's previous research on possible field equations in space with a Riemannian metric and a compatibility of distant parallelism, and therefore constitute an important key for the development of Einstein's thought on this subject.

$27,500 | Maza of the Moon, Argosy cover, December 21, 1929

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

Maza of the Moon is a science fiction novel by Otis Adelbert Kline, first published in book form in 1930. The novel was originally serialized in four parts in the magazine Argosy, beginning in December 1929, with this illustration appearing on the cover of the magazine.

$28,496 | "On the history and future of particle physics" by Werner Heisenberg

Christie's Auction Description

Online | May 23, 2019

German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg was one of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics. He is best known for the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which he published in 1927 and was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the creation of quantum mechanics."

This autograph manuscript is entitled "Entwicklung der Theorie des Elementarteilchen" (Development of the theory of the particle), and is a draft of a lecture given at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest on March 5, 1964.

$30,000 | Mosasaur Skull. Tylosaurus proriger. Late Cretaceous

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | September 28, 2019

Along with plesiosaurs, sharks, fish, and other mosasaurs, Tylosaurus was a dominant predator of the Western Interior Seaway during the Late Cretaceous period (70 million years ago), with the Tylosaurus Proriger reaching lengths of 14 m (46 ft). This 92.00 cm (36.22 inches) long skull was prepared by legendary palaeontologist, George F. Sternberg.

$30,000 | Weird Science color re-creation, 1978

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

This illustration is a painted re-creation by Wallace Wood of his famed pen and ink cover for Weird Science #15 (EC Comics, 1952). This illustration was later published as the cover for The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood Vol. 1 (Fantagraphics Books, 2017).

$31,200 | The Spirit Sunday Strip "Outer Space" Page 1 Original Art

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | February 23, 2019

The combination of Wally Wood and Will Eisner produced this strip, dated May 27, 1952. In the waning days of Will Eisner's classic detective strip “The Spirit”, he took the unusual step of sending the character to the Moon. Rather than attempt the art duties himself, Eisner hired the best possible replacement in Wally Wood, whose then recent sci-fi art for EC's Weird Science and Weird Fantasy was unsurpassed. Eisner prepared a sample drawing of the Moon as a guide for Wood, basing it on a telescopic photo of the craters in close detail. Amazingly, this sample piece not only survived, but is included as part of this lot, as is the torn-out photo from Life magazine that Eisner's art was based on.

$31,200 | ‘Qo'noS First City’ (1990) original art from ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 24, 2019

This original screen-used matte painting by Syd Dutton depicts the capital of the Klingon homeworld of Qo'NoS as seen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Sins of the Father." The painting is large (96" X 48") and centers on the iconic Great Hall surrounded by sprawling, spired Klingon architecture. To add an extra effect to the piece's already spectacularly rendered lighting, the painting was created with a series of holes drilled into the illustration for backlighting, as well as a plexiglass cutout window inside the Great Hall, which would have live-action footage spliced into the scene.

$31,292 | ‘De architectura libri dece’ (1st century BCE) by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio

Christie's Auction Description

London | December 11, 2019

Written 2000 years ago by Roman architect and military engineer Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, De architectura (On Architecture in English, but published as Ten Books on Architecture) is the oldest surviving treatise on architecture and certainly the most influential book ever written on the subject. Included within the 10 books is a clear understanding of how advanced the Romans were in areas such as town planning and civil engineering, water supply and aqueducts, geometry, astronomy and the construction of machines as diverse as siege engines, water mills, drainage machines, hoists and pneumatic devices.

The book was reproduced repeatedly with commentary once the printing press was invented 1500 years after it was written, and Italian Renaissance architects such as Alberti, Bramante, Michelangelo, Vignola, Palladio and many others were influenced by it. Even the White House owes much to Marcus Vitruvius Pollio.

$31,663 | ‘On finite and infinite dimensions’ by Stephen Hawking

Christie's Auction Description

Online | May 23, 2019

Stephen Hawking first met the American physicist Charles W. Misner during the latter's 1966-67 visit to Cambridge. The two became close, and Hawking visited Misner at his own institution, the University of Maryland, at the end of 1967. Hawking's work on singularity theorems, which he first published in his 1965 doctoral thesis, overlapped with the research Misner was undertaking on geodesical incompleteness, a notion at the centre of the concepts Hawking was developing with Roger Penrose. Here, Hawking seemingly refers to a proof that another of their colleagues in the field, Stanley Deser, would publish the following year in The Physical Review Letters, in a paper entitled "Positive-Definiteness of Gravitational Field Energy."

$31,689 | ‘The Plague’: an autograph manuscript by Sir Isaac Newton

Aguttes Auction Description

Paris | November 18, 2019

The Great Plague of 1665, also known as the “Black Death” and Bubonic Plague, killed an estimated 100,000 people in London - almost a quarter of the population - in a few months. A student at Cambridge at the time, Isaac Newton left London and stayed away for two years. This lot is a study on the plague, its causes and remedies, written by Newton in Latin.

$31,741 | Extraterrestrial steel

Christie's Auction Description

London | May 24, 2019

The Muonionalusta meteorite impacted in northern Scandinavia about one million years BCE. The first fragment was found in 1906 and around forty pieces are known today, of which this is one. Modern cutting has highlighted the meteorite's octahedrite crystalline fingerprint in three dimensions, resulting in a 13.1 kg cube with 4¾ inch (12 cm) sides. This dense iron-nickel sculpture is in effect, extraterrestrial steel.

$31,960 | Reconstruction of a 'Pumpkin' Test Bomb

Team Breker Auction Description

Köln | November 9, 2019

The early training/test bombs for the culmination of the Manhattan Project with the 1945 atom-bombing missions were designed to be the same shape, size, and weight of the atomic bombs ("Little Boy" and "Fat Man"). These bombs were called "pumpkins" and were used at Wendover Air Field for the initial bombing training/practice by the B-29s modified to carry the bombs, and to test fuses for the bombs.

The pumpkin bombs were 300 x 100 x 120 cm, and weighed 310 kg, (the trolley weighed 60 kg), exactly the same shape, size and weight as the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki, on August 9, 1945.

Now this is only a replica, and not one of the originals. Watch for parts of the original Little Boy atomic bomb later on this list.

$32,299 | 'Tipus Orbis Universalis Iuxta Ptolemei Cosmographi Traditionem Et Americi Vespucii’ by Petrus Apianus

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | May 14, 2019

Often referred to as the first obtainable map to name America,

Peter Apian's 1520 World Map was believed to be the first map to use the name America, and the first to use the truncated cordiform (heart shaped) projection. That was until 1901, when the sole surviving example of Waldseemuller's 12-sheet 1507 map of the World, was discovered.

Waldseemuller’s map is now recognized as the true source of Apian's map. Waldseemuller’s map was famously purchased by the Library of Congress in 2001 for $10,000,000.

$32,500 | Fossil Snake. Unidentified Boa. Eocene

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | September 28, 2019

Fossil snakes are extremely rare in the fossil record due to their light weight and delicate bone structures, particularly in the remarkable condition of this specimen. 50 million years ago, a large lake covered with what is now the mining pit at Messel, Germany, the source of this specimen. The lake would regularly release poisonous gas, asphyxiating nearby creatures. At the bottom of the lake was a thick layer of oil shale which covered over the Eocene animals, preserving them intact across the millennia. Because of the oil rich sediments, an extraordinary degree of preservation exists from this sight, preserving, in some cases, even the soft tissue, skin and fur of these animals.

$32,500 | ‘Thuvia, Maid of Mars interior book illustration’ (1920)

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

Thuvia, Maid of Mars is a science fantasy novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the fourth of the Barsoom series. The principal characters are Carthoris (the son of John Carter of Mars) and Thuvia of Ptarth, each of whom appeared in the previous two novels in the series. This interior illustration by James Allen St. John, is an excellent example of St. John's definitive interpretations of the author's novels. The published caption reads: "With a savage cry of triumph, Thar Ban disappeared down the black canyon of the Avenue of Quays" (1920).

$36,000 | Klingon' Disruptor from ‘Star Trek: The Original Series’

Profiles in History Auction Description

December 17, 2019 | Los Angeles

From Star Trek: The Original Series, this Klingon Disruptor Pistol is one of the most sought-after of Star Trek memorabilia items. The Disruptor has been attracting prices in the region of $40,000 to $50,000 for many years, with a similar item selling for $48,800 in December, 2018.

$37,023 | Shuttle Attitude Director Indicator

RR Auction Description

Boston | October 17, 2019

This Space Shuttle Attitude Director Indicator (ADI) was removed from Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) in September 2002 when the cockpit was upgraded to the Multifunction Electronic Display Subsystem, or 'Glass Cockpit.' This ADI was used by the Space Shuttle Commander. Featuring a design closely resembling the Flight Director Attitude Indicator (FDAI), this important instrument gave the Space Shuttle crew attitude information as well as attitude rate and attitude errors. The orbiter's attitude was displayed on the enclosed black-and-gray ball (commonly known as the "eight ball") that was gimbaled and marked with numbers indicating angles. The ball moved in response to software-generated inputs to depict the orbiter's attitude in pitch, yaw and roll.

$37,500 | Apollo 11 NASA ‘Mission Implementation Plan’

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | July 18, 2019

"...the Apollo 'G' mission [Apollo 11] represents then most significant milestone of the Apollo Program. The approximately 8-day mission includes an open-ended (2 hours 40 minutes maximum), extra-vehicular exploration of the lunar landing site by two astronauts, featuring lunar science activities and live television communication with the earth."

This third revision of the Mission Plan shortened the mission length (from the March-dated Revision 2) from ten days to eight days and the Extra Vehicular Activity from 3 hours down to 2 hours 40 minutes. This manual summarizes the test objectives, experiments, operational and pre-launch test, the flight plan, alternate missions, and debriefing plans. Interestingly, Heritage sold Armstrong's Revision 2 book in November 2018 for $25,000.

$37,500 | ‘Starship Soldier’, original cover illustration for ‘The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction’, November, 1959

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

This illustration was used as the digest cover for the serialized "Starship Soldier" by Robert A. Heinlein, which would later be published to great acclaim as the novel Starship Troopers, and ultimately made into a movie of the same name in 1997.

$37,500 | ‘Space Police’ dust jacket cover illustration (1956)

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

This illustration was published as the dust jacket of Space Police, edited by Andre Norton (The World Publishing Co., 1956). The artwork was sold accompanied by a pencil on paper preliminary sketch.

$37,995 | An autograph letter regarding ‘Formulating the theory of gravitation’ by Albert Einstein

Christie's Auction Description

Online | May 23, 2019

This autograph four-page letter Wilhelm Wien is written in German and signed "A. Einstein", dated, 17 May 1912. Wilhelm Wien was the very influential editor of Annalen der Physik from 1907 to 1928. Einstein's paper would have been of particular interest to Wien, as it depended to a degree on the radiation formula which he had devised.

$37,995 | The foundation of modern digital computing

Christie's Auction Description

Online | May 23, 2019

The 2014 feature film The Imitation Game brought British mathematician Alan Turing into the public consciousness in relation to his work on encryption, but his contribution to computing in general is far greater. His paper "On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem" was published in three parts in the Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, introducing the concept of a "universal machine" – sometimes referred to as the "Turing machine" – for the first time. This rare set of the three relevant copies of Turing's paper, represents a landmark in the history of computing.

$38,750 | Infinite Worlds - the Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art book cover

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

This illustration was published as the book cover of Infinite Worlds: The Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art by Vincent Di Fate (The Wonderland Press, 1997).

$40,000 | ‘Opticks’ by Sir Isaac Newton

M40004-1_1 004
M40004-1_1 004

Swann Galleries Auction Description

New York | October 24, 2019

Isaac Newton was just 24 years old when he began working on improving the optics of telescopes, recognizing that the generation of the spectrum is related to the physical properties of light and not those of the prism. He then demonstrated his theory by recomposing the white light though a second prism, and making the first important scientific advance of his time. By the age of 30, he managed to suppress the chromatic aberration in telescopes and revealed his findings at the Royal Society, which published his lecture in its Philosophical Transactions.

Therein began one of the nastiest quarrels between great men in the history of science, when his work on the properties of light was criticized by Robert Hooke. So averse to criticism was Newton, that he did not publish this book until Hooke had died, despite much of the original thought it contained being decades old.

Opticks analyzes the fundamental nature of light by means of the refraction of light with prisms and lenses, the diffraction of light by closely spaced sheets of glass, and the behavior of color mixtures with spectral lights or pigment powders. It is considered one of the great works of science in history.

Opticks was significant in many other ways too, one being that it was first published in English rather than in the Latin traditionally used by European philosophers up to that time. With Britain's growing confidence and world influence, and in particular the Royal Society, the English language was overtaking Latin and becoming the language of science and business. Nonetheless, Newton did follow traditional protocol, publishing a Latin translation two years later in 1706.

Finally, Newton's work on pure mathematics was virtually hidden from all but his personal correspondents for many decades, and then a great international debate began with both Newton and Willhelm Gottfried Leibniz claiming the prize of having invented calculus. Mathematics is the language of the gods and it was not until we had calculus, which enabled us to explore the science of things that change, that science was able to move forward at the frenetic pace it has since THIS BOOK.

This final addition to Opticks, a tract on the quadrature of curves (integration) and another on the classification of the cubic curves, is one of Newton's many attempts to assert his priority over Leibniz. The two "Treatises of the Species and Magnitude of Curvilinear Figures" included at the end of the text of Opticks are Newton's first published mathematical papers and were intended to assert his priority over Leibniz in the discovery of the calculus. His Cambridge lectures, delivered from about 1673 to 1683, were published in 1707. It would be fair to say that both of these great men came up with calculus independently, as did the Persians five hundred years before them, and the Greeks went very close 2000 years before them, too. Our view of scientific history is largely Eurocentric and it is very sad that the scientific breakthroughs of the Chinese civilization are so poorly recognized, as we will only fully understand our heritage when it is properly documented.

$41,989 | The American Atlas (1776-1777)

Sotheby's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | May 14, 2019

This atlas is one of the most important 18th-century atlases of the Americas, offering the most comprehensive, detailed and accurate survey of the American colonies at the beginning of the revolution. According to Ristow, this atlas "as a major cartographic reference work it was, very likely, consulted by American, English, and French civilian administrators and military officers during the Revolution"

Jefferys' position as Geographer to the King gave him unparalleled access to the latest surveys of the American colonies. From about 1750 onwards he published what were recognized as being the some of the most accurate maps of their time, a number of them used for official purposes.

After Jefferys' death in November 1771, his business passed to Robert Sayer and John Bennett, who, in 1775, issued all Jefferys' separately-issued maps in atlas form under the umbrella title The American Atlas.

$42,500 | The original proposal document for Alejandro Jodorowsky's film adaptation of Frank Herbert's ‘Dune’

Heritage Auction Description

New York | March 6, 2019

Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction novel was originally published as two separate serials in Analog magazine. It won numerous awards, is regularly cited as the world's best-selling science fiction novel, and

was later adapted into a 1984 film and a 2000 television miniseries. Herbert wrote five sequels, and the first two were presented as a miniseries in 2003.

Jodorowsky's Dune is a 2013 documentary film that explores film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's unsuccessful attempt to adapt and film Dune in the mid-1970s.

This book, one of around 20 produced to raise funding for Jodorowsky's film, includes concept art, designs and storyboards for the still-born film that spawned the documentary and is claimed by many to have heavily influenced later sci-fi productions such as the Alien, Star Wars and Terminator series.

$42,500 | Run to the Stars paperback cover, 1986

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

This illustration was published as the cover of the paperback edition of Run to the Stars by Mike Scott Rohan (Ace Books, 1986). A copy of the cover accompanied this lot.

$44,080 | Sholes & Glidden Typewriter, 1873

Team Breker Auction Description

Köln | October 12, 2019

Bearing Serial no. 1576, this is an extremely early example of the Sholes & Glidden, the world’s first commercially successful typewriter, and the first use of the QWERTY keyboard layout. Subsequently known as the Remington No. 1, as the rights were purchased by Remington in a very successful attempt to diversify its gun manufacturing. The typewriter had a lot in common with the sewing machines manufactured by Remington, and was sold with the treadle table pictured, with the treadle driving the carriage return.

$44,437 | 11-inch Elephant Bird egg

Christie's Auction Description

London | May 24, 2019

As far as we know, the largest bird of all time was the now-extinct elephant bird (Aepyornis maximus). The flightless animal stood over 10 feet (3 m) tall and was native to Madagascar. Elephant birds died out as a species approximately 500 to 1,000 years ago, the prevailing theory being that humans reduced their habitat and/or over-hunted them.

The Elephant Bird was thought to be the giant flying beast known as the Roc (or Ruhk) in the tales of Sinbad and accounts of Marco Polo's voyages. This complete egg is 11 inches tall, and 8 inches in diameter (28 x 20 x 20cm).

$45,000 | Batmobile Batphone from Batman TV Series (1966-1968)

Profiles in History Auction Description

December 17, 2019 | Los Angeles

This Batphone from the Batman TV Series (1966-1968) is the only hero working Bat Phone known to still exist. A magnet in the handset allows it to hang securely on the base when the Batmobile is in motion. When the power cord emanating from the base is plugged in, internal lightbulbs in the base and handset are illuminated, giving the piece its signature red alert glow.

$45,500 | Smith Terrestrial and Celestial Globes

Arader Galleries Auction Description

New York | November 17, 2019

A pair of Smith & Son Terrestrial and Celestial Globes, each 18 inches in diameter, with horizons of 24 inches in diameter, each sphere placed in a fine mahogany tripod stand, for an overall height of 43 inches.

$48,000 | The hoverboard from ‘Back to the Future II’ (1989)

Profiles in History Auction Description

December 19, 2019 | Los Angeles

In the 1989 movie Back to the Future II, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travelled into the future to October 21st, 2015 and rode a hoverboard; a skateboard without wheels that hovers above the ground. From the date of the release of the movie (November 22, 1989), the Hoverboard has been number #1 on the Christmas stocking list of children everywhere.

Despite technology still trying to catch up to the 30-year prophecy of the movie, numerous companies have attempted to market a hoverboard since then, with several getting remarkably close.

Movie fans grow up though, and when they have earned enough discretionary income to afford the real thing (albeit a movie prop), prices of movie memorabilia are bound to rise.

Many hoverboard props from the movie have been sold over the years, as there are many props made for movies as second, third and fourth back-up, just as there have with movie cars.

The best price ever achieved by a Hoverboard from Back to the Future II was $102,000, achieved by Profiles in History in 2018.

$48,449 | ‘Novum Ac Magnum Theatrum Urbium Belgicae Foederate’ by Joan Blaeu

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | May 14, 2019

The third Latin edition in two volumes of Blaeu’s celebrated town book of the Netherlands. Bound in eighteenth century red morocco, these books contain detailed maps, plans and views of all the towns of the Netherlands at this time.

$49,409 | Autograph manuscript (1670) by Robert Hooke

Christie's Auction Description

London | December 11, 2019

The Great Fire of London burned from September 2 to September 6, 1666, destroying 13,200 houses, 87 churches, including St Paul's Cathedral – roughly 70,000 of the city’s 80,000 inhabitants were homeless.

This lot contains one of only two autograph manuscripts by Robert Hooke to appear at international auction in the last forty years. Entitled, "Rebuilding after the Great Fire: Robert Hooke the Surveyor to the City of London", the manuscript is accompanied by a very rare first edition, first issue of Hollar’s post-Great Fire map of London.

Robert Hooke was a polymath and contemporary rival to Isaac Newton. He gave us microscopy, Hooke's Law, was the first to use the word "cell", invented the watch balance spring some 15 years before Christiaan Huygens, invented the iris diaphragm in cameras and also invented the universal joint now commonly used in motor vehicles.

$50,000 | Wulfenite. Glove Mine, Glove Mine Group, Cottonwood Canyon

Wulfenite; 18.5 cm tall. Glove Mine, Devil's Cash Box Ridge, Amado, Cottonwood Canyon, Tyndall District, Santa Rita Mts, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA. Rock H. Currier collection (5211); Mark Mauthner photo.
Wulfenite; 18.5 cm tall. Glove Mine, Devil's Cash Box Ridge, Amado, Cottonwood Canyon, Tyndall District, Santa Rita Mts, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA. Rock H. Currier collection (5211); Mark Mauthner photo.

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 26, 2019

Wulfenite is a lead molybdate mineral with the formula PbMoO4, most often found as thin tabular crystals and most spectacularly found in the Glove Mine in Cottonwood Canyon, Arizona, where this extraordinary 7.1 x 4.7 x 3.9 inches (18.0 x 12.0 x 10.0 cm) specimen was found.

$52,630 | ‘Principes d’optique et d’astronomie’ (1745) autograph manuscript by Émilie du Châtelet

Sotheby's Auction Description

Paris | November 18, 2019

Émilie du Châtelet (1706 – 1749) is one of history's most accomplished, controversial and intriguing female scientists. Her work was instrumental in gaining Isaac Newton's theories widespread acceptance in Europe. Not only did she translate (into French) and revise Newton's most significant work, but based on the theories of Newton and Liebniz regarding the conservation of momentum, she proposed the law of conservation of energy, a staple of high school physics to this day.

Du Châtelet’s "Exposition abregée du sisteme du monde selon les principes de Mr Neuton" is one of the most valuable scientific manuscripts of all-time, having fetched €961,000 (US$1,240,805) at a Christie's (Paris) auction in October, 2012.

$56,562 | ‘Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze’ (1638) by Galileo

Sotheby's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | November 19, 2019

Translating as "Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences", this book was Galileo’s last and is regarded by many as the world's first Physics textbook.

The book is written in a style similar to Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems), in which three men (Simplicio, Sagredo, and Salviati) discuss the subject, with Simplicio representing Galileo's early beliefs, Sagredo representing his middle period beliefs, and Salviati his ideas at the time of writing.

Copies of this book vary dramatically in price, but in general terms, this is one of the cheapest first editions for some time. The record price for this book was achieved in 2017 by Pierre Berge and Associates when the dedication copy was sold in Paris for €727,919 (US$791,190), making it one of the most valuable scientific documents of all-time.

The full story of the publication of this book is worth reading, as the Roman Inquisition had banned the publication of Galileo's works in 1632 due to Dialogo, which proposed the heliocentric theory. Galileo wrote the book under house arrest, and gave a handwritten copy of the work to the Ambassador of France to the Holy See, who passed it onwards so that it could be published by Elsevier in the Netherlands.

That Ambassador became the dedicatee of the work, and this is the deluxe copy sent to François de Noailles, Comte d ' Ayen (1584-1645), for his role in this landmark publication. The dedication can be read in English here, and it explains the difficulties faced by Galileo in detail.

$57,600 | The Invisible Man (Universal, 1933) Lobby Card

Heritage Auctions Description


Dallas | November 24, 2019

So rare are the posters for Universal Pictures 1933 movie adaptation of H.G. Wells’ famous book The Invisible Man that this 11” x 14” lobby card fetched an astonishing price. Lobby cards from the movie are equally rare, and despite being the major platform for movie poster and lobby card sales, this was only the second lobby card for the movie that had ever been offered by Heritage Auctions.

The movie proved to be Universal studio's most successful horror film since Frankenstein, and hence went on to spawn a sequel with Vincent Price in The Invisible Man Returns and was then reprised in comedic films such as The Invisible Woman and Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man.

$58,500 | Audubon's Birds of America Octavo

Arader Galleries Auction Description

New York | November 17, 2019

The first Octavo (261 x 173 mm) Edition of John James Audubon's masterpiece in seven volumes. Audubon created 65 new images for the octavo edition, supplementing the original 435 of the double-elephant folio edition of 1827-38. The resulting series of 500 plates constitute the most extensive American color-plate book produced up to that time.

$64,818 | SET OF 6 DRAWINGS with autograph notes by Thomas Edison

Aguttes Auction Description

Paris | November 18, 2019

This extraordinary set of autograph notes and drawings by Thomas Edison details his efforts in March 1886 to improve the electric light bulb, accompanied by an original incandescent bulb with bamboo filament.

$60,000 | Animatronic Tauntaun face from 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back’ (1980)

Profiles in History Auction Description

December 19, 2019 | Los Angeles

The much-loved Taunton was first seen in the opening sequences of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back when Luke Skywalker and Han Solo are seen riding them on the icy plains of Planet Hoth. Tauntauns are a species of snow lizard that have been domesticated by the Rebel Alliance, and this remarkable screen-used animatronic Tauntaun face was used to enable it to become particularly lifelike. Though estimated to sell for between $50,000 and $70,000, this exquisite example of George Lucas’ movie expertise and animatronics failed to meet reserve and was passed in.

$65,000 | Gould's Monograph of the Ramphastidae

Arader Galleries Auction Description


Digital Copy Online

New York | November 17, 2019

This first edition of John Gould’s first monograph, the Monograph of the Ramphastidae is one of 11 different books by the English ornithologist that regularly appear in our annual most valuable scientific documents listing. Ramphastidae are Toucans, and this book was originally issued in three parts in 1833, 1834 and 1835. The book contains 33 hand-colored lithographic plates by Edward Lear and John and Elizabeth Gould, and one uncoloured plate by George Scharf.

$65,625 | Hand from the Void, Super Science Stories cover, January 1951

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

Super Science Stories was a quarterly American science fiction magazine published from 1940 to 1943, and again from 1949 to 1951. This unsigned 19 x 14 inch sci-fi painting by Lawrence Stern Stevens appeared on the cover of the January, 1951 issue and was sold with a copy of the 1951 magazine.

$68,750 | Saturn V rocket model, signed and inscribed by various astronauts

Sotheby's Auction Description

New York | July 20, 2019

Standing 43 1/4 inches tall, this Saturn V rocket model is signed and inscribed by 15 astronauts, including a moonwalker from each lunar landed mission: Frank Borman (Apollo 8), Jim McDivitt (Apollo 9), Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9), John Young (Apollo 10 And 16), Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11), Michael Collins (Apollo 11), Alan Bean (Apollo 12), Richard Gordon (Apollo 12), Fred Haise (Apollo 13), James Lovell (Apollo 13), Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14), Dave Scott (Apollo 15), Al Worden (Apollo 15), Charlie Duke (Apollo 16), and Gene Cernan (Apollo 17).

$71,500 | ‘The Monograph of the Trogonidae’ (1858) by John Gould

Arader Galleries Auction Description

New York | November 17, 2019

At first glance, this would seem a remarkable price for an incomplete copy of John Gould’s The Monograph of the Trogonidae. This lot comprises just parts II and III of the original three parts, bound as one volume.

The books were however, a present from John Gould to John James Audubon, and have been in the Audubon family for much of their existence. Audubon’s ownership inscription signature is dated "March 21st 1836. London".

If the value of their work at auction is any indication, these are the two greatest ornithologists in history.

$77,518 | A Plan Of The Cities Of London And Westminster And Borough Of Southwark by John Rocque

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | May 14, 2019

This highly detailed book of maps of London was begun in March 1737 and published in October 1746, becoming the first produced since that carried out by William Morgan in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1666. Produced at a scale of 26 inches to a mile, it is a primary record for the city in the mid-eighteenth century. The illustration map shows the scope of the book as if all the maps it contains were joined together.

$78,000 | Frankenstein (Universal, 1931) Lobby Card

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | November 24, 2019

Mary Shelley is a most unlikely author of the sci-fi/horror classic Frankenstein. The daughter of two political philosophers, and the wife of poet Percy B Shelley, the story took root when she travelled to Germany in 1815 and visited Frankenstein’s castle along with her husband and friends Lord Byron and John William Polidori. An impromptu story-telling competition between the travelers saw Mary Shelley’s story ultimately became the classic Frankenstein.

Just how things unfolded in that first telling is unclear, but Polidori is credited by some as the creator of the vampire genre of fantasy fiction for his short story "The Vampyre" (1819), the first published modern vampire story.

Some people believe that Frankenstein should be considered the first true science fiction story because, in contrast to previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, the central character “makes a deliberate decision” and “turns to modern experiments in the laboratory" to achieve fantastic results.

After the success of the movie Dracula in February 1931, Universal Studios’ Carl Laemmle was convinced that the horror genre would not only succeed, but also bring fame and fortune to his studio. Fresh from his debut as Count Dracula, Bella Lugosi initially agreed to take on the lead role, but declined when he found the character had no lines.

The movie’s director, James Whale, spotted Boris Karloff at the studio and immediately named him as the director's preferred candidate for the part. The actor's tall and gaunt appearance was exactly what Whale envisioned for the legendary man-made creature. The image used on this lobby card is from the test shots before filming, and Frankenstein’s look is identical to the film other than the prominent bolts on the forehead.

$78,000 | Captain James T. Kirk’s tunic from ‘Star Trek: The Original Series’ (1966-1969)

Profiles in History Auction Description

December 17, 2019 | Los Angeles

This lot is the wraparound tunic worn by William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk in several episodes of Season 2 of Star Trek: The Original Series (Paramount TV, 1966-1969).

$81,210 | First edition of the first nine parts of De Bry's Grands Voyages

Aguttes Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

Paris | November 18, 2019

This is a first edition of the first nine parts of Theodor De Bry's Grands Voyages. Published in parts between 1590 and 1602, De Bry died in 1598 after the publication of the first six parts, with his sons finishing the Johann Theodor and Johann Israel took over the task of completing the Great Voyages and began the Small Voyages. These works were immediately popular and provided the standard European image of the Americas and the East Indies.

An entire set of both of De Bry’s Grand and Small voyages would be worth a fortune – in 2016 a set lacking the final part of the Great Voyages and the final two parts of the Little Voyages was sold by Christie’s for $545,000.

$81,250 | Neil Armstrong's Personally Owned and Worn Early Apollo-Era Flight Suit

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | July 18, 2019

A standard blue NASA flight suit, owned and worn by Neil Armstrong. At the neck is the manufacturer's tag from "Flite Wear by Land Mfg. Co." of Wichita, Kansas (no size given). An ultra-rare embroidered NASA Type 3 "Meatball" vector patch is sewn on the left breast.

$81,250 | Einstein explains quantum entanglement with a three-page "simple thought experiment" in an autograph letter to Paul Epstein

Christie's Auction Description

New York | June 12, 2019

“I myself first came upon the argument starting from a simple thought experiment. I think it will be best for us if I walk you through it…”.

With the aid of two diagrams involving a mirrored box, a screen, and an axis, Einstein presents the entire experiment as he first envisioned it. “Thus I incline to the opinion that the wave function does not (completely) describe what is real, but only a to us empirically accessible maximal knowledge regarding that which really exists,” he concludes here. “This is what I mean when I advance the view that quantum mechanics gives an incomplete description of the real state of affairs… I do not believe that this will prove to be the correct path for the long run”. It was not until 2016 that Einstein would be proven wrong.

$82,349 | Pair of Table Globes by Gerard And Leonard Valk, Circa 1750

Christie's Auction Description

London | December 11, 2019

Gerard Valk and his son Leonard, were the only significant publishers of globes in the Netherlands in the 18th Century, enjoying an almost total monopoly in the first half of the 1700s. This pair of 12-inch table globes, one terrestrial, one celestial, with the cartography of the terrestrial globe based on a world map by Jean-Dominique Cassini, ‘Planisphere Terrestre’, published by Jean-Baptiste Nolin in Paris in 1696.

$84,115 | Steve Jobs Macintosh System Tools Version 6.0 floppy disk

RR Auction Description

Boston | December 4, 2019

This Macintosh System Tools Version 6.0 floppy disk seems a highly appropriate format for Jobs's seldom-seen autograph. Jobs was well known as a reluctant signer, and often declined to comply with the requests of collectors. Indeed, one of Jobs’ business cards, unsigned, sold for $5,375 at the same auction.

$84,500 | Gould's Birds of Great Britain

Arader Galleries Auction Description

New York | November 17, 2019

A first edition folio (21 4/8 x 14 4/8 inches) copy of Gould’s The Birds of Great Britain, published in five volumes and containing 367 hand-colored lithographs. Regarded generally as the most sumptuous, costly and popular of his works, and sold at a very reasonable price. Arader Galleries sold a similar copy in 2018 for $183,000.

$85,870 | ‘Roses’ by Pierre Joseph Redouté

Sotheby’s Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

Paris | November 18, 2019

Pierre-Joseph Redouté ( 1759 – 1840) was a painter and botanist known for his watercolors of flowers. He has been called "the Raphael of flowers" and "the greatest botanical illustrator of all time." Redouté is a regular in our annual listings with a previous copy of his Les Roses selling for $200,000 at Sothebys in October, 2017 and $128,666 (€113,738) at Aguttes on November 14, 2018 and a copy of Redouté's Les Liliacées fetching $244,000 at Arader Galleries in October, 2017.

$86,100 | Tin Litho Battery Operated Machine Man Robot

Morphy Auction Description

Denver, PA | March 29, 2019

Robbie the robot in the 1956 movie Forbidden Planet had a profound influence on our perception of robots, and remains one of the iconic science fiction robots of all-time.

When Robby went to auction in 2017 he fetched $5,375,000, becoming the second most expensive movie prop in history, next to Marilyn Monroe’s “Seven Year Itch” dress.

Thanks to Robby, robots were very topical in the 1950s and top-of-mind for sci-fi enthusiasts, and many robot toys were produced which are now fetching substantial amounts at auction.

Much has been written about the affinity of the Japanese culture with robots, and it is hence not surprising that the Japanese would make the most sought-after vintage toy robot.

Japanese toy producer Masudaya produced a range of five 15-inch tall robots in the late 1950s and early 1960s known as the Gang of Five. The fifth member of the series, known as Machine Man was produced in very limited quantities, and today, just four are known to still exist with their original boxes and around 14 in total. In 1996, a Machine Man identical to this lot sold for $74,000 at a Sotheby’s auction, and another Gang of Five toy robot, known as Target Robot, sold for $52,900 at a Morphy auction in 2010.

Hence this near perfect specimen of Machine Man which had a single owner since new, and came with its original box in mint condition, set a new world record for a toy robot in March.

$87,500 | ‘Delineatio Orarum Manicongi, Angolae, Monomotapae, Terrae Natalis, Zofalae, Mozambicae, Abyssinorum &c. Una Cum Vadis, et Sirtibus Adjacentibus. Item Insulae Magna Vulgo S. Laurentii Aliâs Madagascar Dictae, Inter Maximas Totius Orientis Habitae’ (1592-1594) by Petrus Plancius

Swann Galleries Auction Description

New York | June 6, 2019

The engraved decorative map of Southern Africa has a rather lengthy title meaning “Depiction of the coastal strips of Manicongo, Angola, Monomotapa, Natal, Zofala, Mozambique, the Abyssinians etc., together with the shallows and sandbanks along them. And also of the big island that is usually called Saint Laurentius or Madagascar that is counted among the very largest islands of the entire Orient".

What makes this particular map extra special is that this was the first map published in the Netherlands for areas outside of Europe, and formed the basis upon which Dutch seafarers quickly built upon in their travels to Asia. The decoration of the map is worth a look in high resolution.

$87,500 | American oak book cabinet from the personal library of Edward S. Curtis, built to hold the volumes and supplemental folios of ‘The North American Indian’

Christie's Auction Description

New York | October 2, 2019

Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868 –1952) was an American photographer and ethnologist who set out to record traditional Native American cultures. He published The North American Indian between 1907 and 1930 and the entire body of work grew to breathtaking size and scope, comprising twenty volumes of narrative text, with each volume accompanied by a portfolio of large photogravure plates.

This oak wood cabinet was sold as a line item by Stickley Brothers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was advertised as "a book and folio cabinet to hold the volumes and supplemental folios of The North American Indian."

This particular cabinet was gifted to Curtis by the writer Marah Ellis Ryan. She and Curtis were both ardent supporters of causes for indigenous peoples of the Americas and had become close friends. Curtis supplied the illustrations for one of her books, (New York & Toronto, 1909). Shortly before Ryan’s death in 1934, she gifted both this cabinet and a set of The North American Indian to the photographer.

$87,500 | The Moon Conquerors, Science Wonder Quarterly cover, Winter 1930

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 14, 2019

One of many magazines for sci-fi enthusiasts in the 1930s, the quarterly issues of Science Wonder Quarterly were eagerly awaited. This gorgeous cover illustration from the winter 1930 issue is the work of sci-fi illustration pioneer Frank R. Paul, entitled, "The Moon Conquerors." Published during the Great Depression, space travel appeared a long way into the future, and a moon landing was still truly in the realms of sci-fi. As things transpired, the first human-made object touched the moon inside 30 years and humans stood on the moon within 40 years.

$88,373 | ‘Histoire générale des insectes de Surinam et de toute l'Europe’ (1771) by Maria Sybilla Merian and Daniel Rabel

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | November 12, 2019

German-born naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian (1647 – 1717) is one of four female scientists who regularly appear in our annual scientific auction year highlights. All four (the others were Émilie du Châtelet, Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, and all are included this year) overcame seemingly insurmountable gender-bias obstacles of their era to make an immense contribution to science.

Merian worked in watercolors, for example, because oil paints were only available to men. Indeed, Merian was not at first recognized for her work, having been "discovered" for her contributions to botany and zoology several centuries after her death and she is now regarded as one of history's greatest female scientists. She was the first published woman naturalist, but died a pauper. Peter the Great of Russia was the first to recognize Merian's work and he purchased many of her watercolors which now reside in the Kunstkamera Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in St Petersburg

In 1699, Merian travelled to the Dutch colony of Suriname in South America to observe and illustrate new species of insects, becoming arguably the first person in history to undertake an epic journey solely for scientific purposes. Her five-year expedition was cut short after two years when she contracted malaria, but the resultant publication of Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium upon her return to Amsterdam became a foundation for the science of entomology.

$88,373 | ‘Klaer-lichtende noort-star ofte Zee-atlas’ (1666) by Johannes Van Loon

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | November 12, 2019

This Dutch 1666 (484 x 300mm) sea atlas consists of 34 double-page hand-colored, engraved maps and is bound in contemporary calf and prior to this auction was unrecorded, with the only other known copy held by Yale, and just three copies of the book recorded at auction in the last century.

$88,586 | Vance Brand's A7LB Suit TMG Assembly

RR Auction Description

Boston | April 18, 2019

This A7LB Space Suit Thermal Micrometeorite Garment (TMG) Assembly was made for Vance Brand, and possibly used during training for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). Neil Armstrong once described his Apollo 11 A7L suit as "tough, reliable and almost cuddly."

This particular A7LB is a modified Command Module Pilot 400 series TMG intended for lunar surface extravehicular activity, adjusted to emulate the 800 series configuration worn by ASTP crew members.

ASTP crew were not provisioned to conduct an EVA so one of two sets of gas connectors (for intake and exhaust) were removed with patches sewn over the holes.

$88,823 | ‘A Map Of The British And French Dominions In North America' by John Mitchell

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | May 14, 2019

A first edition, second issue, this large (1980 x 1420mm) engraved wall-map is regarded by many authorities as the most important map in the history of American cartography. Another 20 editions of this map appeared between 1755 and 1781, and it became the basis for territorial boundaries drawn in the treaties concluding the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.

Geographically, it incorporated knowledge derived from the analysis of reports, journals, and maps available in the files of the British Board for Trade and Plantations. Its numerous legends and notes on Indians, settlements, and trails still provide a valuable source for historical and ethnological study.

$90,000 | ‘The One Who Waits’ (1953) original art by Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, and Roy Krenkel

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 3, 2019

An adaptation of Ray Bradbury's 1949 short story of the same title, this seven page science-fiction horror story was developed by no less than three of EC Comics best known talents.

$93,750 | "In other words, God tirelessly plays dice under laws which he has himself prescribed" (c. 1945): autograph letter by Albert Einstein

Christie's Auction Description

New York | June 12, 2019

Einstein and others had argued in the EPR [Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen] paradox that an objective physical reality could be elucidated more precisely than Heisenberg allowed, unless information were being transmitted from one particle to another faster than the speed of light – what Einstein would later describe as “spooky action at a distance.”

Today, this principle is better known as quantum entanglement, the basis for so-called quantum computing. Here, it is described as "spatio-temporal effect at a distance" ("raumzeitliche Fernwirkung") — “which my gut feeling resists due to its implausible character."

In this letter, in response to Epstein’s own paper on the EPR problem in the June issue of American Journal of Physics, Einstein writes to clarify why exactly he sees quantum mechanics as an "incomplete" theory.

$93,750 | Gibeon Meteorite. Iron, IVA. Great Nama Land, Namibia

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | September 28, 2019

The Gibeon meteorite fell in prehistoric times in Namibia. It was named after the nearest town: Gibeon. This museum-quality specimen of the Gibeon Meteorite weighs 309 pounds (140 kilograms) and is of considerable size: 23.00 x 19.00 x 12.00 inches (58.42 x 48.26 x 30.48 cm)

$100,000 | Apollo 11 Checklist used on the lunar surface in preparing to walk on the moon (1969)

Sotheby's Auction Description

New York | July 20, 2019

The list of steps performed just minutes before Neil Armstrong descended the ladder on Lunar Module Eagle's front landing strut, to become the first man to set foot upon the Moon. These steps included space suit preparations, removal of the PLSS (Portable Life Support Systems, or "back-packs") from storage, and securing the PLSS to the spacesuits. The PLSS were an absolutely vital component of the space suit, providing oxygen, water, and cooling for the suits during EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities, or Moonwalks).

Buzz Aldrin's signed provenance letter reads, "Accompanying this letter is a sheet numbered SUR-29 and SUR-30 from the Apollo 11 LM Lunar Surface Checklist. The entire checklist was carried to the surface of the Moon in Lunar Module Eagle during the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969."

$100,000 | ‘Ichthyologie, ou Histoire naturelle, generale et particuliere des poisons’ (1785-97) by Marcus Elieser Bloch

Christie's Auction Description

New York | June 12, 2019

A first edition in French, published at the same time as the German edition (1785-97), of possibly the most beautiful book on fishes ever produced. The normal 12 volume work is published here as 12 volumes bound as six.

$100,000 | Dioptase & Wulfenite

Dioptase, Wulfenite; 7.5 cm across. Mammoth St. Anthony Mine, Tiger, Pinal County, Arizona, USA. Rock H. Currier collection (1608); Mark Mauthner photo.
Dioptase, Wulfenite; 7.5 cm across. Mammoth St. Anthony Mine, Tiger, Pinal County, Arizona, USA. Rock H. Currier collection (1608); Mark Mauthner photo.

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 26, 2019

From the Mammoth-St Anthony Mine, Tiger, Mammoth District, Pinal Co., Arizona, USA. Tiger is one of the very few places where the striking nickel-green against bright orange color combination occurs, and this specimen was purchased among others in 1972 for $500 from Jack Streeter.

$100,075 | The red “arming” plug and green “safety” plug from the First Atomic Bomb dropped on Japan (1945)

Bonhams Auction Description

Online | December 12, 2019

These plugs are the green safety plug and a red arming plug for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, AKA L-11, AKA “Little Boy.”

Three sets of these plugs are known to exist: this set, a set held by the Naval Museum in Washington D.C., and a set which went to auction at Butterfields auctions in San Francisco in 2002, selling for $167,000. Accordingly, these plugs came at a discount price, though it is uncertain which of the three extant green plugs was removed from the bomb moments before it was dropped, and the red plug which replaced it went down with the bomb. Hence this red plug is definitely a “spare.”

The plugs came via Morris R. Jeppson, the weapons test officer aboard the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress aircraft which dropped the bomb.

The 9000-pound Little Boy had an explosive yield equal to 20 000 tons of TNT, and is believed to have killed more than 140,000 people - there are several other artefacts of the bomb in this scientific auction year highlights of 2019 article. Jeppson gave the plugs to Edward Doll, the head of the fusing team on the bomb, the day after the flight. Jeppson kept one set which was the set sold in 2002.

$108,000 | Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded To Aage Niels Bohr (1975)

Heritage Auction Description

Chicago | April 29, 2019

Following in the footsteps of his father, Danish physicist Niels Bohr, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922 "for his services in the investigation of the structure of atoms and of the radiation emanating from them," Aage Niels Bohr added to the family's Nobel Prize in Physics collection in 1975 "for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection."

$109,752 | Schlüsselgerät 41 (SG-41) “Hitler mill” (1944)

Hermann Historica Auction Description

Munich | May 24, 2019

Nicknamed the "Hitler Mill" due to its “coffee mill” crank handle, the SG-41 Cipher Machine was vastly superior to the machine it replaced – the Enigma machine which had been “cracked” in 1941 by Alan Turing’s team at the British Government's Bletchley Park "Code and Cypher School". Despite being almost impossible to crack with the technology of the time, as it used six rotors compared to the three and four rotors of the Enigma machine, the design sat for three years before production started in 1944. Ultimately, only 500 units were ever built, with almost all machines destroyed, and only a handful survived. Had the Germans deployed SG-41 earlier, the war would have lasted much longer. Similarly, had the much more plentiful Enigma machine not been made famous by a feature movie, the laws of supply and demand suggest this would have sold for much more than an Enigma machine.

$109,800 | Correspondence about the Theory of General Relativity, between Professor Albert Einstein and his colleague Dr. Gustav Mie (1917-1926)

Winner's Auction Description

Jerusalem | April 8, 2019

This lot of 13 letters between Albert Einstein and Gustav Mie (who at that time was full professor for experimental physics in Halle, Germany) offers its reader a unique chance to witness the dawn of General Relativity (GR) and the hurdles which this new theory had to overcome to gain acceptance. Eleven of the letters were written in German between May 1917 and May, 1918, and two of the letters were written in April/May, 1926. The letters illustrate Einstein’s efforts to convince and educate his fellow colleagues, some of whom remained highly sceptical of this ground-breaking discovery.

$110,500 | ‘The Birds of Europe’ (1832-1837) by John Gould

Arader Galleries Auction Description

New York | November 17, 2019

Yet another John Gould entry in our annual scientific auction year highlights, this time for his Birds of Europe, published from 1832 to 1837. This is a first edition of the work, his first multi-volume ornithological work. The large folio (538 x 360 mm) five volume set includes 448 hand-colored lithographic plates. Christie’s sold the last such set to reach auction in 2017, for $125,000.

$111,184 | ‘Voyage au tour du Monde sur la frégate la Vénus pendant les années 1836-1839’ (1840-1864) by Abel Aubert Du Petit-Thouars

Christie's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | June 5, 2019

Translating as "Travel around the World on the frigate Vénus in the years 1836 to 1839," this work records a circumnavigation of the globe performed on behalf of the French Government to “investigate the viability of whale fishing in the Northern Pacific”, but as the auction description opines, was primarily “political in nature.”

Regardless, the exceptionally detailed 15 volume set bound as 13 volumes covers every aspect of the voyage and offers remarkable insight into such aspects as the aboriginals of Australia in 1838, slave life in Rio de Janeiro in 1837 and the Mexican period of California in 1837.

$111,184 | ‘Voyage au Pôle Sud et dans l'Océanie sur les corvettes l'Astrolabe et la Zélée’ (1841-1854) by Jules Sébastien César Dumont D'Urville

Christie's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | June 5, 2019

Translating as "Trip to the South Pole and Oceania on the ships Astrolabe and Zelee," this voyage of Southern Hemisphere exploration was sponsored by French King Louis-Philippe. The sold lot is a complete set of the first edition comprising a 23 volumes of text bound in 22 octavo volumes, 5 folio atlas volumes bound in 6, and one atlas portfolio, all uniformly bound in contemporary red half morocco.

$111,593 | Malling-Hansen ‘Writing Ball’ (1867)

Team Breker Auction Description

Köln | May 18, 2019

The Malling-Hansen Writing Ball was the first commercially available typewriter, invented in 1865. Rasmus Malling-Hansen exhibited the Writing Ball at the 1873 World’s Fair in Vienna, and the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1878, but the ingenious design required hand production and the mass-produced Sholes and Glidden typewriter was more readily available and cost-effective, winning the day and consigning this machine to an historical footnote.

$112,474 | ‘Les voyages de la Novvelle France occidentale, dite Canada’ (1640) by Samuel de Champlain

Sotheby's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | November 12, 2019

Samuel de Champlain founded New France (Canada) and Quebec City on July 3, 1608 during one of his 20+ voyages to the New World and his exploration and mapping of the Atlantic coast and Great Lakes make him one of the pioneers of the continent. His best known work, Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain Xaintongeois is one of the most valuable scientific books of all time, a copy having sold for $758,000 in 2009.

The auctioned lot is the first collected edition, third issue and only one other copy is recorded as ever having gone to auction. This copy contains what is believed to be the first map to depict the entire Great Lakes network. Ironically, Lake Champlain, named after the author, was briefly the sixth Great Lake in 1998, before a political and funding brawl saw the Senate revoke the bill.

$114,000 | Imperial Stormtrooper screen-used blaster from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Profiles in History Auction Description

Los Angeles | December 19, 2019

The iconic Stormtrooper blasters from Return of the Jedi were built on replica Sterling submachine guns made by Model Gun Corporation in Japan, known for crafting hyper-realistic non-firing reproductions. Because of this, the safety works, the stock folds, and the trigger pulls. Most of the dressing on this example is original including the U-shaped cooling fins over the vent holes, the scope itself, scope ring, scope rail, and the other small greeblie (rectangular) on the side. Of note, the back half of scope is a real scope, with a lens- other ROTJ trooper guns of this type usually have machined, replica scopes. Replica parts on this gun include the front part of the scope, the greeblie on top of the scope rail in front of the scope, and the two "gun hammer" looking greeblies on the side. These elements were all replicated using parts cast off of originals to complete the piece. Also unique is the small reflective disk on the side of the grip, which is covering up the manufacturer's logo. This has not been seen on other trooper guns. The most complete, original blaster Profiles in History has handled from the original Star Wars trilogy. Measures 26.75 in. long (with stock extended) and comes with a custom display stand.

$115,288 | A Narrative of the Proceedings Relative to the Discovery of the Longitude at Sea (1765) by John Harrison

Christie's Auction Description

London | December 11, 2019

Three hundred years ago, the British Parliament established the Longitude prize; one of the most important technology competitions in history. The UK Longitude Act of 1714 offered £20,000 reward, approximately US$3.4 million in today’s money, for developing a means by which longitude could be accurately measured at sea, one of history’s “unsolvable” problems.

Figuring out latitude is easy: measure the angle of the North Star or the Celestial South Pole against the horizon and you’ve got a fairly accurate measurement. Longitude is also easy. Calculate the difference in time between local noon and noon at Greenwich, convert the time into degrees and … all that’s required is a clock aboard ship that’s synchronized with one back in Greenwich.

In 1714, the only accurate clocks relied on pendulums, but pendulum clocks don’t work on a ship due to the movement of the boat. Parliament asked for a solution and despite some ingenious proposals, that solution turned out to be a better clock. Watchmaker John Harrison invented a better escapement mechanism and his invention soon evolved into the modern chronometer, leading to a decades-long dispute over the prize money.

This lot is an extremely rare first edition of Harrison’s claim to be awarded the £20,000 ‘Longitude Prize' and as it is written in the Queen’s English, is very accessible, not to mention freely available online. Only three copies of this book have appeared at auction anywhere in the world in the last four decades.

A perfect example of the marine chronometer and the breakthrough capabilities it offered shipping, is this 1825 marine chronometer used on the second voyage of HMS Beagle (Charles Darwin was on the same boat), the North American Boundary Expedition and it is also one of the chronometers used in mapping Australia’s coastline. It sold at auction in July, 2014 for £ 74,500 ($127,612).

$120,508 | ‘Plantarum rariorum Horti Caesarei Schönbrunnensis descriptiones et icones’ (1797-1804) by Nikolaus Joseph Von Jacquin

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | November 12, 2019

This is a first edition of the four volume folio (465 x 322mm.) "Plantorum Rarium" featuring 500 hand-colored engraved plates of rare and exotic plants grown in the Schönbrunn Botanical Garden in Vienna. Fewer than 200 copies were produced, of which this number 68. Only one other complete set has sold at auction in the past twenty-two years. Virtually all were reserved for presentation by the court of Francis II. This volume fetched $145,500 when it last sold in 1997.

$120,508 | ‘Atlas ou Colom Ardante’ (1668) by Jakob Aertsz Colom

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | November 12, 2019

This sea atlas made in Amsterdam in 1668 features 44 double-page engraved maps by Jakob Aertsz Colom. Colom's sea atlas covering charts from around the world was issued in 1663 in Dutch, reissued in Dutch in 1668, and 1669 in Latin, Portuguese and Spanish. Until recently, this French edition was unknown. The atlas is notable for its charts of North America, one of which is a rare map of New Amsterdam, which within a few years would become New York.

$121,122 | ‘The Theatre Of The Empire Of Great Britain’ (1676) by John Speed

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | May 14, 2019

Cartographer John Speed is best known for two atlases, and this book contains both of them. The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain was first published in 1612, and the Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World was produced in 1627. The former began exclusively as a county atlas, until it became a world atlas in 1627.

The present posthumous edition is recognized as the best, with significant maps added for the first time.

This book was the first English attempt to produce a grand scale atlas, with the first detailed maps of the provinces of Ireland, the first set of county maps attempting to show territorial divisions, and the first comprehensive set of English town plans. This edition of the Prospect includes eight maps (on seven mapsheets) appearing for the first time: Virginia and Maryland, New England, Carolina, Jamaica and Barbados, East India, Russia and Canaan.

$123,909 | ‘Les liliacées’ (1802-1816) by Pierre Joseph Redouté

Ketterer Kunst Auction Description

Hamburg | May 27, 2019

Pierre Joseph Redouté is known as "the Raphael of flowers" and some claim he is the greatest botanical illustrator of all time.

His greatest work, Les Liliacées, was produced under the patronage of Empress Josephine of France (the wife of Napoleon I) though prior to the French Revolution, he had been an official court artist of Queen Marie Antoinette. When Empress Josephine's personal copy went to auction at Sotheby’s in New York in 1985, it sold for $5,500,000, becoming the second most valuable book to have ever sold at auction.

Redouté makes our annual list every year with at least one of his publications, so it was no surprise to see this copy of his masterpiece on this year’s list. Published as 8 volumes bound in four, with 486 stipple-engraved plates printed in colors and finished by hand by Bessin, Chapuy and others.

$124,623 | ‘Harmonices mundi libri V’ (1619) & ‘Pro suo opere Harmonices Mundi Apologia’ (1621-1622) by Johannes Kepler

Christies Auction D

Digital Copy Online

London | July 9, 2019

German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630) was a key figure in the 17th-century scientific revolution, best known for his laws of planetary motion, and his books Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae. These works also provided one of the foundations for Newton's theory of universal gravitation.

This is a first edition of Harmonices mundi libri V, bound with Pro suo opere Harmonices Mundi Apologia in one folio (295 x 189mm) volume.

$125,000 | ‘General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America’ (1755) by Lewis Evans

Swann Galleries Auction Description

New York | June 6, 2019

Lewis Evans' General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America was one of the most significant and influential maps published in Colonial America. On it, Evans described the land beyond the British frontier into the Ohio territory with great amounts of new information, so offering potential settlers, speculators and military officials the most detailed and accurate look at the lands to the west thereto printed on a map.

The map that went to auction was struck from the plate as a working proof-state, perhaps 75% complete, allowing the maker to evaluate its progress in May, 1755. The general cartography is laid down, but the finishing details are all lacking, most notably Evans' own engraved name, the engraver Benjamin Turner's name, cartouches and insets, tables, anecdotes and the publishing imprint. Virtually all the major place names and toponyms seen on the finished map do not appear. Evans has written several of these names and filled the distance tables at lower right in manuscript to be later engraved. Below the tables is an ink signature: "Lewis Evans ... May 2, 1755".

A remarkable artefact of American history!

$125,000 | The ‘Screaming Man’ Gold Nugget

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | July 20, 2019

Dubbed the "Screaming Man" for obvious reasons, this museum-quality gold nugget was extracted from the Kurnalpi Goldfield near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. It stands nearly eight inches tall and weighs 2,472 grams.

$132,000 | Original concept artwork for ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968) by Robert McCall

Profiles in History Auction Description

December 18, 2019 | Los Angeles

Very similar to the iconic final poster art for the film, this concept artwork was created by space artist Robert McCall. McCall’s murals grace the walls of the National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, The Pentagon, Epcot, and Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, and his production illustration has been featured in both 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. McCall’s work has also featured on U.S. postage stamps.

$135,009 | ‘Le Flambeau de la Navigation monstrant la description’ (1620) by Willem Janszoon Blaeu

Christies Auction Description

London | June 5, 2019

A remarkable volume with a fascinating provenance, this copy of Willem Blaeu’s important navigator’s resource book .

This book was purchased in 1636 for the renowned astronomer Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, and subsequently owned by the celebrated circumnavigator Louis de Freycinet.

$136,576 | ‘Hortus Nitidissimis’ by Jakob Christoph Trew

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | November 12, 2019

Christoph Jakob Trew’s Hortus nitidissimis is a gallery of the most colorful flowers grown in Europeans gardens at that time. It includes a substantial contribution from Georg Dionysius Ehret, the greatest botanical flower painter of the eighteenth century.

$137,271 | ‘Da Qing Wan Nian Yi Tong Di Li Tu’ Geographical Map Of The Great Qing Dynasty. Jiaqing Period (1760-1820)

Sotheby's Auction Description

London | May 14, 2019

This very large woodblock map is printed in on eight sheets, which when joined, measure 1320 x 2325mm. The map offers a detailed portrayal of the Chinese world in the 1820s, being a revised edition of a map created in 1767. The map shows the addition of territories such as Tibet and Xinjiang, underlining the continuous strengthening of the Chinese state. Although each example of this Blue map appears to be unique, Sotheby’s traced several other recorded examples held by institutions: National Library, Beijing; Beijing University Library; Shandan Museum in Gansu Province; Library of Congress, Washington DC; Maclean Collection, Chicago; Kobe City Museum; Waseda University Library.

$137,500 | Non-Cooperative Games by John Forbes Nash Jr.

Christies Auction Description

New York | October 25, 2019

A first edition, offprint issue of John Forbes Nash's doctoral thesis, formulating the theory of non-cooperative games and describing the Nash equilibrium, for which he was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

In his biographical essay for the Nobel Prize, Nash humbly noted, "As a graduate student I studied mathematics fairly broadly and I was fortunate enough, besides developing the idea which led to "Non-Cooperative Games," also to make a nice discovery relating to manifolds and real algebraic varieties. So I was prepared actually for the possibility that the game theory work would not be regarded as acceptable as a thesis in the mathematics department and then that I could realize the objective of a Ph.D. thesis with the other results."

His work turned out to not only be worthy of a Ph.D., but also of a Nobel Prize.

$138,798 | John F. Kennedy's personal 'victory map' of Cuba used during the Cuban Missile Crisis

RR Auction Description

Boston | November 1, 2019

This is President John F. Kennedy's personal "victory map" of Cuba used during the Cuban Missile Crisis, featuring eight types of sticker symbols applied to the surface, representing Soviet MiG fighter jets, Komar-class missile boats, IL-28 bombers, SS-4 missiles, SSM-Cruise missiles and nuclear storage sites.

The intelligence represented by this map was supplied by U-2 spy planes, confirming President Kennedy's worst fears of an increasing Soviet military presence just one hundred miles away from the American coast.

The map is marked "Secret" in the lower left and upper right corners. A two-page key paperclipped to the upper right corner, headed "MRBM-IRBM Status of Cuban Missiles," dated October 27, 1962, summarizes the Soviet military build-up, listing sites, enumerating number of launchers and missiles, and completion status.

$150,075 | Prototype of the Macintosh Personal Computer

Bonhams Auction Description

New York | December 4, 2019

The Macintosh is one of just two extant prototypes with a functioning proprietary Apple 5¼ inch twiggy drive, after Steve Jobs decided to use Sony’s 3½ inch drive.

The Macintosh was introduced to the world by a TV advert aired during Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984 - the $1.5 million "1984" Ridley Scott television commercial alluded to George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and regarded as one of the most successful TV adverts of all-time.

The historical significance of this computer is captured best by Steve Wozniak in the foreword of the Andy Hertzfeld book, Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made.

"There are occasionally short windows in time when incredibly important things get invented that shape the lives of humans for hundreds of years. These events are impossible to anticipate, and the inventors, the participants, are often working not for reasons of money, but for the personal satisfaction of making something great. The development of the Macintosh computer was one of these events, and it has changed our lives forever. Every computer today is basically a Macintosh, a very different type of computer from those that preceded it."

$154,020 | ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations’ by Adam Smith

Aguttes Auction Description

Paris | November 16, 2019

With the full title of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, this book was first published in 1776 at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and is regarded as the first great work in classical economics, and even today is still one of the most cited books in the social sciences published before 1950, behind only Karl Marx's Capital.

An unlikely best-seller in its time, first edition copies such as this reach auction most years and generally sell in the $100,000 to $200,000 range, with the dedication copy fetching $307,878 (£182,500) at a Christies auction in May, 2014.

There is always debate about whether economics is a science, and hence whether this book, the foundation of the study of economics, should be included on this list. We concluded that if economics isn't a science, by the time we've applied Big Data, it will become one.

$175,000 | Apollo 11 Lunar Module Flown Section of the Wright Flyer's Wing Fabric

Heritage Auction Description

Online | May 11, 2019

One of the highlights of the 2018 and 2019 scientific auction years was the sale of artifacts from the Armstrong Family Collection by Heritage Auctions, the memorabilia collection assembled by Neil Armstrong (1930 - 2012), the Commander of Apollo XI and the first person to walk on the Moon.

Among the highlights of the sale were a dozen pieces of the Wright Flyer, the plane that the Wright Brothers flew to accomplish the first successful powered flight at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903.

Under a special arrangement with the Air Force Museum, Armstrong carried material from the historic airplane's propeller and wing in his personal preference kit (PPK) on Apollo 11 and took it with him to Tranquility Base, the site of the moon landing.

After the mission, Armstrong delivered the material to the Air Force Museum, which allowed him to retain a portion of it. The material saved by the Air Force Museum is now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. The Armstrong Family Collection sale featured several pieces of spruce from the Wright Flyer's propeller and several pieces of muslin cloth from its left wing.

Interestingly, the pieces of wing fabric from the Wright Flyer sold last year achieved a high of $175,000 (with other prices being $112,500, $150,000 and $162,500) and that turned out to be exactly the same high price achieved this year. Other price for wing fabric this year were $106,250, $55,000, $52,500, $47,500 and $40,000.

Clearly, it paid to wait, as there is no discernible difference between the piece that sold for $40,000 and the two that fetched $175,000.

$175,000 | Apollo 11 Lunar Module Flown Piece of the Wright Flyer Propeller

Heritage Auction Description

Online | May 11, 2019

Similar to the above lot, these were the small slivers of spruce that came from the propeller of the Wright Flyer, and were then flown to the site of the lunar landing in 1969 – between them, the two most important aerospace feats in history … so far. Once more, the prices in 2019 were not the same as the prices in 2018 for an identical item.

$175,000 | Flown Apollo 11 Flight Plan for “’Lift Off’ — The Beginning Of The First Mission To Land On The Moon

Sotheby's Auction Description

New York | July 20, 2019

The first page of the flown Apollo 11 Flight Plan, detailing the crucial timeline of activities to be performed by the crew during the first two hours of the Apollo 11 Mission.

$180,000 | Hero 'Jupiter 2' spaceship filming miniature from ‘Lost in Space’ (CBS TV, 1965-1968)

Profiles in History Auction Description

December 17, 2019 | Los Angeles

The Lost in Space television series followed the adventures of the Robinsons, a pioneering family of space colonists. Home for the Robinsons was the ‘"Jupiter 2" and this lot is the hero filming miniature of the spacecraft, measuring 48 inches in diameter. It appeared on screen in many of the 83 episodes over three seasons, particularly the final season. Just to highlight the production technologies of the day, the first season of Lost in Space was filmed in black and white and at the conclusion of the series this miniature was then repurposed and used in the 1971 movie, City Beneath the Sea.

$187,500 | ‘Voyage dans l’intérieur de l’Amérique du Nord executé pendant les années 1832, 1833, et 1834’ by Karl Bodmer and Prince Alexander Maximilian Zu Wied-Neuwied

Christie's Auction Description

New York | June 12, 2019

The first French edition of the best illustrated travel book to the American West, with contemporary hand-coloring of 24 plates.

This book is the famous result of Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied and Swiss artist Karl Bodmer journeying up the Missouri River in 1832. Beginning in St. Louis, they journeyed as far as inland waterways could take them, through present-day Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and into Montana.

$187,500 | Quartz var. Amethyst with Epitaxial Amethyst & Goethite on Calcite "Skunk".

Quartz (amethyst), Calcite; 37 cm across. Andre Jachetti Mine, Artigas, Artigas Department, Uruguay. Rock H. Currier collection (5920); Mark Mauthner photo.
Quartz (amethyst), Calcite; 37 cm across. Andre Jachetti Mine, Artigas, Artigas Department, Uruguay. Rock H. Currier collection (5920); Mark Mauthner photo.

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 26, 2019

From the Andre Jachetti Mine in Uruguay comes this 35 cm curved plate of dark amethyst crystals with a 12 cm pale yellow brown scalenohedral calcite crystal growing up from the amethyst and black stripes of goethite running up three sides of the calcite and up the center of the black goethite stripes run smaller stripes of amethyst crystals.

$187,500 | Crystallized Gold

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | July 20, 2019

From the Eagle's Nest Mine in California comes this spectacular and robust 9.9 troy ounce specimen of crystallized Gold standing almost six inches high.

$200,000 | Large and spectacular Topaz Specimen

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | August 26, 2019

From the Xanda Mine in Brazil, came this 6.1 x 4.7 x 4.3 inch chisel-shaped transparent blue single crystal of Topaz with a sliver of green tourmaline on one side. The single Topaz crystal weighs 7 pounds (3.28 kg.)

$203,026 | ‘The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands’ by Mark Catesby

Aguttes Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

Paris | November 16, 2019

This book is the first published account of the flora and fauna of North America, making Mark Catesby the founder of American ornithology. It includes 220 plates of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, mammals and plants and is arguably the most important natural history work illustrated before Audubon (at the top of this listing). Catesby travelled from England to Virginia in 1712, and stayed for more than seven years in total across many visits to collect seeds and plants. Bound as two large folio volumes, the first part of this work was published in 1729, with ten parts published over the next 14 years, with a supplement produced in 1747.

$205,000 | Allosaurus fragilis dinosaur skull from Jurassic Period

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | September 28, 2019

The Allosaurus was one of the world’s largest and most capable apex predators and when whole skeletons come to market, they run to 10 meters long and 3 meters high and cost millions of dollars. A 35-inch skull however, is more readily housed and comes at a disproportionate discount.

$205,807 | Hawking proposes an exciting new definition for space-time singularity

Christie's Auction Description

Online | May 23, 2019

In this 1968 autograph letter by eminent scientist Stephen Hawking' to Charles W. Misner, Hawking writes: "I want to propose a new definition of what should be regarded as a physical singularity; space-time is singularity free if and only if it is geodesically bounded. By this I mean that under the exponential map every compact set in the timeline and null region of the tangent bundle maps into a set in the manifold with compact closure."

He then goes on to illustrate his meaning, "geodesically complete => geodesically bounded => distant boundaries," noting that "the arrows in the reverse direction hold if the strong causality condition holds. I can show that is there is a compact slice with converging normals and if the density is not zero at some point of the slice then space-time is not geodesically bounded."

$208,000 | Gould's Birds of Asia

Arader Galleries Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

New York | November 17, 2019

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed by now that John Gould’s work is highly regarded on the auction block, and that his creative output was beyond human. We regularly see 11 Gould books on this annual list, and this year he has six different books in the top sellers. This copy of Birds of Asia is bound as seven volumes and has a total 530 hand-colored lithographed plates. Like we said, a prodigious output.

$210,261 | Apollo 14 LM Simulator Computer Display and Keyboard (DSKY) from MIT Instrumentation Laboratory

RR Auction Description

Feature Article

Online Simulator

Boston | April 16, 2019

An Apollo Guidance Computer sold for $279,859 in 2019, and is listed on this page. It was the most advanced computer in the world at the time, and one of the many highlights of the Apollo Guidance Computer was the Display and Keyboard (DSKY) unit with which the astronauts communicated with the computer. It is very different to most Computer Human Interfaces and the astronauts became big fans. Instead of typing in word commands or clicking on icons, the astronauts used a special numeric language of "nouns" and "verbs."

A noun was an object and a verb was an action to be taken by the object. To operate, the astronaut would first press the unlock key that prevented accidental button pressing, then enter the number code for the noun and then the code for the verb.

There are a number of simulators online.

$212,500 | Saturn V & Saturn IB Apollo Firing Room Control Panels

Sotheby's Auction Description

New York | July 20, 2019

This lot comprised a collection of 20 original Apollo Firing Room Control Panels from the Kennedy Space Center Firing Rooms 1 & 3, which launched the Saturn V and Saturn IB rockets, carrying Apollo 4 (unmanned), and the crews of Apollo 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, Skylabs 2, 3, & 4, and ASTP (Apollo-Soyuz Test Project).

The majority of the consoles come from Area B, which housed the primary test, checkout, monitoring, and control functions, with a few from Area A, which was the location for the consoles that provided information necessary for the supervision of the test and launch process.

$218,091 | ‘Dani De nova et nullius aevi memoria’ by Tychonis Brahe

Christie's Auction Description

London | July 9, 2019

The first edition of one of the rarest and most important pamphlets in the history of science: Tycho Brahe's discovery of a new star, the emphatic first-ever use of the term "nova" in relation to a star, and the incontrovertible refutation of the Aristotelian model of an unchanging celestial realm. Brahe was a Danish astronomer known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations. He has been described as "the first competent mind in modern astronomy to feel ardently the passion for exact empirical facts." His observations were some five times more accurate than the best available observations at the time.

$218,750 | ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ by Abraham Ortelius

Arader Galleries Auction Description

New York | January 26, 2019

Abraham Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World) consists of two distinct elements - text and maps - and this format had not been done previously. Hence Ortelius can claim to have created the first modern atlas. He was also one of the major factors in moving the map trade from Antwerp to Amsterdam, and he is also believed to be the first person to imagine that the continents of the world were joined prior to drifting to their present positions.

The record price fetched for a copy of this book was set in July 2000, when an illuminated copy bound as a gift from Cosimo II de' Medici fetched $419,240. The copy was bound in Italian burgundy morocco gilt, though the recipient of the gift remains unknown. Cosimo II was one of Galileo's students, and subsequently a patron, and Galileo named Jupiter's four largest moons Medicean Stars in reference to Cosimo and his three brothers.

Recent sales of this landmark publication have fetched $253,217 (£193,750) at a Sotheby's auction in November, 2017, $129,197 (£100,000) at a Sotheby's auction in May, 2019, $118,666 (£93,750) at a Christie's auction in December, 2018, and $75,000 at a Christie's auction in June, 2013. | Full copy available on the internet

$225,000 | Six items flown to and used on the lunar surface during the Apollo mission

Sotheby's Auction Description

New York | July 19, 2019

Six incredible lunar surface artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission, sold as one lot. By far the most significant of the six artifacts is the first autograph manuscript to be written on the lunar surface: a piece of paper measuring 5 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches, written upon by Buzz Aldrin in the Lunar Module following he and Armstrong's historic moonwalk. The paper contained a description of the contents of the three most important lunar surface film magazines. The small document is believed to been entirely handwritten and signed while on the lunar surface.

$225,000 | ‘Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium’ (1719) and ‘De Europische Insecten’ (1730) by Maria Sibylla Merian

Christie's Auction Description

New York | October 25, 2019

This is the second of Maria Sibylla Merian’s works in our annual auction highlights listing this year – see also Histoire générale des insectes de Surinam et de toute l'Europe (1771) that sold for $88,373. Her work also appears in our listing of the most valuable scientific manuscripts of all time. Tragically, though Merian is considered by David Attenborough to be among the most significant contributors to the field of entomology, she died penniless.

This lot comprises Merian’s best known work, Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum Surinamensium, bound with De Europische Insecten in one folio (515 x 350 mm) volume, with 256 engraved plates, all hand-colored.

$225,000 | 1994 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences awarded to Reinhard Selten for his contributions to Game Theory

Christie's Auction Description

New York | October 25, 2019

The 1994 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences awarded to Reinhard Selten for his contributions to Game Theory, namely as the first person to "refine the Nash equilibrium concept for analyzing dynamic strategic interaction."

$237,449 | A pair of 47cm globes, terrestrial and celestial (1696) by Vincenzo Coronelli

Arenberg Auction Description

Brussels | October 19, 2019

Vincenzo Coronelli is one of the best known globe makers in history.

Around 1680 he made his first pair of 175 cm diameter manuscript globes for the library of Ranuccio II Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza. These striking globes were noticed by the ambassador to the French King, Cardinal Cisar d'Estries, through whose offices Coronelli was commissioned to make an even larger pair of globes for King Louis XIV.

Coronelli worked for two years in Paris from 1681 until 1683 in completing the gargantuan pair, now known as the Marly globes, each measuring 384 cm. in diameter and weighing 2 tons. The globes and their royal patronage created an instant and far-reaching reputation for Coronelli as a globe-maker, the first outside the Netherlands to achieve this repute. Coronelli’s globes are hence sought-after and regularly achieve high prices at auction.

Bonhams sold the last set of 47cm Coronelli globes to reach auction for £149,000 ($197,834) in 2017, fetching a similar price to a pair it sold in 2004. That pair that had been in the Monterey Maritime Museum and sold for £149,650, which translated to a far healthier $275,215 at the time thanks to exchange rates. Sotheby’s sold the previous pair to come to market in December 2006, achieving €177,000 ($235,834).

Replicas of Coronelli’s 43 cm globes are readily attainable these days, with prices in the vicinity of $20,000 a pair.

$237,500 | ‘A New Map of the Western Parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina’ (1778) by Thomas Hutchins

Arader Galleries Auction Description

New York | June 8, 2019

Hutchins’ map of the newly acquired Western territory of the United States is considered to be the finest map of the region of the time. Designed to accompany his book, A Topographical Description of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina, the map, which encompassed the region between the Allegheny and Mississippi Rivers, provided the most accurate and detailed overall view of the midwest available at the time of the American Revolution.

$257,036 | ‘Le Grand Atlas ou Cosmographie Blaviaene’ by JohnBlaeu

Arenberg Auction Description

Brussels | March 13, 2019

A first edition in French of Blaeu's "Atlas Maior" – often described as the "greatest and finest atlas ever published."

The Atlas Maior was published between 1662 and 1672, in Latin (11 volumes), French (12 volumes), Dutch (9 volumes), German (10 volumes) and Spanish (10 volumes), containing 594 maps and around 3,000 pages of text. The Dutch version was named the Grooten Atlas. It was the largest and most expensive book published in the 17th century and in the auction description of the most valuable copy sold to date (sold by Sothebys in November, 2015 for $883,944 - £581,000) it was described as "the most famous atlas in the history of printed maps" and "the most magnificent work of its kind ever produced."

The work covered the known world, with particular emphasis on Europe, but with important volumes devoted to America and another to China. "The contents of this unprecedented atlas illustrate the high standards of contemporary cartography and geographical knowledge, and its presentation bears witness to the superb craftsmanship of engraver, printer, binder and papermaker ... The costly atlas was in fact exclusively designed for those members of the patriciate who could command both the material and intellectual resources that were needed to buy it and appreciate it." (Koeman II, pp.1-3)."

Some 300 sets are believed to have been published, many of which were presented throughout Europe as a tangible symbol of the Republic of the United Netherlands.

$275,075 |’ Indian Ornithology’ by Christopher Webb Smith

Bonhams Auction Description

New York | October 23, 2019

This unpublished manuscript is one of the earliest collections of western bird drawings drawn in India, and a foundation text on the depiction and study of the subject. This early Indian bird manuscript became the source for the three collaborative works published in Patna, with Sir Charles D'Oyly (1781-1845), at the Behar Lithographic Press; The Feathered Game of Hindostan, 1828, 12 plates, Indian Dead Game, 1830, 6 plates, and Oriental Ornithology, 1829, 24 plates.

$279,859 | Apollo Guidance Computer

RR Auction Description

Boston | October 17, 2019

The Apollo Guidance Computer was carried aboard both the Command Service Module (CSM) and the Lunar Module (LM), flew on 15 manned missions, nine Moon flights, six lunar landings, three Skylab missions, and had very few in-flight problems, with most of those due to human error. In its time, it was the latest and most advanced fly-by-wire and inertial guidance system, the first digital flight computer, the most advanced miniature computer to date, the first computer to use silicon chips, and the first onboard computer where the lives of crew depended on it functioning as advertised.
David Szondy’s story on the Apollo Guidance computer really puts it all in perspective.

$279,985 | Sketch of the Analytical Engine invented by Charles Babbage... with notes by the translator (Ada Lovelace)

Christie's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | December 11, 2019

Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine was a (proposed, it was never built) mechanical general-purpose computer, first described in1837, and essentially of the same basic design as that which has dominated computer design in the electronic era. In terms of computing landmarks, Babbage’s work is an outlier, coming more than a century before computing began its astonishing journey to the pocket of every individual.

In 1842, the Italian mathematician Luigi Federico Menabrea published a description of the Analytical Engine based on a lecture by Babbage. In 1843, the description was translated into English and extensively annotated by Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, and daughter of Lord Byron.

Ada is generally recognized as the world’s first computer programmer (based on an algorithm she developed to calculate a sequence of Bernoulli numbers on the Analytical Engine) and this paper is her most significant achievement.

The collaboration between Lovelace and Babbage is one of the more unusual in the history of science. Lovelace added just seven explanatory notes to her translation, but they are so detailed, the notes are three times the length of Menebrea’s original.

Babbage never published a detailed description of the Analytical Engine, so this translation represents the most complete contemporary account in English of the intended design and operation of the first programmable digital computer. Babbage considered this paper a complete summary of the mathematical aspects of the machine, proving "that the whole of the development and operations of Analysis are now capable of being executed by machinery."

Previous copies of this paper have sold for $170,500 (Christie’s), $98,662 (GBP75,000 | Sotheby’s), and $78,000 (Christie’s).

For those who wish to see history exactly as it was written in 1842, and to see the genius of the daughter of Lord Byron first hand, there’s a complete copy of this paper available here.

$281,416 | The Schøyen Collection of Medieval Seal Matrices

Christie's Auction Description

London | July 10, 2019

Seals were once used to authenticate a document, making their impression on wax, clay, or paper. The Schøyen Collection of Medieval Seal Matrices is one of the largest collections in the world, and is believed to be the largest collection of private seal matrices. It comprises 402 individual matrices ranging in date from the 12th to the end of the 16th century, and in various materials including lead, silver, bronze and classical gemstones.

$325,000 | Gould's Birds of New Guinea

Arader Galleries Auction Description

New York | November 17, 2019

This book’s full title is The Birds of New Guinea and the adjacent Papuan islands, including many new species recently discovered in Australia and it was to be John Gould’s last book. First published in 25 parts with 320 plates, Gould died after the publication of the 12th installment and the remaining 13 parts were edited or written by R. Bowdler Sharpe and illustrated by William Matthew Hart.

$325,050 | ‘De humani corporis fabrica libri septem’ by Andreas Vesalius

Bonhams Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

New York | March 11, 2019

Copies of De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (On the Fabric of the Human Body) are rare and valuable for good reason. When it was published in 1543 this book advanced human anatomical knowledge dramatically, superseding Galen's work of 1500 years prior as the primary reference for physicians.

The dedication copy of this book is the most valuable copy to have changed hands to date, fetching $1,652,500 at a Christie's (New York) auction in March, 1998 and that book is one of the very few scientific documents, manuscripts or instruments to have ever fetched more than $1,000,000.

$337,308 | ‘Geographie opus novissima traductione’ by Claudius Ptolemaeus

Ketterer Kunst Auction Description

Hamburg | May 27, 2019

Claudius Ptolemy (AD 100 – c. 170) was a Greco-Egyptian writer, mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet who created the atlas Cosmographia (also known as Geography and Geographia) whilst living in Alexandria (Egypt) in AD 150, based on a now-lost atlas by Marinus of Tyre using additional Roman and Persian sources. It was translated into Arabic in the 9th century and Latin in 1406, becoming the world's first printed atlas in 1477.

Copies of this famous atlas regularly come to auction and they almost never fail to sell for extraordinary amounts. Some previous sales of Cosmographia include $1,267,500 at a Sotheby's auction in June, 1998, $778,803 (£506,500) at a Sotheby's auction in November, 2014 and $725,000 at a Christies auction in April, 2016, while the record price for a copy of the original 1477 printing of Cosmographia is $3,966,804 (£2,139,000) achieved by Sotheby's (London) in 2006 and one of the 10 most valuable scientific documents of all-time.

$338,630 | Fully functioning 1935 Enigma I machine used by the German military

RR Auction Description

Boston | December 4, 2019

Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication. Though this field of endeavor has attracted the sharpest minds to protect the secrets of Kings for millennia, the closest physical embodiment of this critical science in a single object is the WW2 German Military Enigma Machine. It is so sophisticated to be challenging to even the brightest mind, and analog enough to fit into a box. It was already a very valuable device at auction before 2014 feature movie, The Imitation Game, but as it is now beyond just the fascinated of applied mathematicians, it is very very valuable. This fully functioning 1935 Enigma I machine was used by the German military and was capable of being deciphered by Alan Turing’s team at Bletchley Park. In any other year, this price would have topped any other Enigma machine sold that year. This year it is a distant second.

$350,000 | ‘Molecular structure of nucleic acids: A structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid’ | Galley proof signed by Francis Crick and James Watson

Christie's Auction Description

New York | June 12, 2019

"We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (D.N.A.). This structure has novel features which are of considerable biological interest."

Signed galley proofs for the paper that revolutionized biochemistry and the life sciences: the only known prepublication copy of Watson & Crick's momentous 1953 paper. First published in the 25 April 1953 issue of the journal Nature and running around 1000 words, their paper presented the scientific community with an elegant solution to the question of the structure of DNA: the double helix.

$357,981 | ‘Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden’ by Johann Gregor Mendel

Christie's Auction Description

London | July 9, 2019

If you've ever felt unappreciated for your work, take heart from this story. This paper, Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden, was written in 1866 by Augustinian Monk Johann Gregor Mendel (1822 - 1884), and it outlines the Mendelian inheritance mechanism by which evolution by natural selection could work. Despite being widely distributed to more than 150 universities and places of higher learning, this paper was entirely ignored. Charles Darwin's 1859 book On the Origin of Species was equally controversial and hence not initially well received, either. In 1900, three pioneer geneticists acknowledged Mendel's prior work in their research papers and subsequent research over the following half century established its breakthrough significance. It is now acknowledged as "one of the most important papers in the history of biology, and the foundation of modern genetics." The auctioned copy is one of the offprint of 40 copies circulated to Mendel's colleagues 150 years ago and only 14 copies are known to still exist. It required the passing of a century before we recognized Mendel's legacy.

$362,334 | ‘De re militari’ (1472) by Robertus Valturius

Christie's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | December 11, 2019

This first edition of De re militari (Concerning Military Matters) was the first book printed with technical illustrations, the first book printed with illustrations by Italian artists; and one of the few copies with contemporary coloring.

Valturio wrote this famous treatise on warcraft while serving as engineer to Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta of Rimini, drawing upon classical military and naval texts, and it immediately became a handbook for Renaissance princes and military leaders. The numerous illustrations depict the full array of military equipment at that time, ranging from catapults and battering-rams to revolving gun turrets and even a prototype submarine.

$378,474 | The only known copy of the first pocket globe, Circa 1618, attributed to Willem Blaeu

Christie's Auction Description

London | December 11, 2019

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) is regarded as the father of modern western globe-making. The globes from his forty-year career are among the very finest and most beautiful ever published, and those globes are now the most valuable too.

This 2-inch pocket globe was possibly originally designed for a tellurian, but survives here in a contemporary leather case, half a century before Joseph Moxon would create his 3-inch pocket globe in a similar case lined with celestial gores.

$380,249 | ‘Speculum orbis terrae’ (1602) by Johannes Metellus

Christie's Auction Description

London | June 5, 2019

A first edition of one of the rarest early world atlases by one of the modern masters of cosmography. This copy includes several extremely rare North American maps, including "Americae sive Novi Orbis proximarumque regionum orae descriptio" known in only other three other examples, and only the second printed map devoted to the Pacific, "Maris Pacifici vulgo Mar del zur Terra Australis sive Magelanica."

$391,745 | ‘Sidereus Nuncius’ (1610) by Galileo

Christie's Auction Description

London | July 9, 2019

Sidereus Nuncius is one of the landmark scientific publications in history. Written by Italian polymath Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642), the book introduced the world to his astronomical discoveries made using his home-made telescope, and is hence the foundation work of modern astronomy. Even the word "telescope" was not even coined until the year after this book was published – Galileo refers to the device in this book as a "perspicillum."

Galileo did not invent the telescope, but when he heard about the device being built in Holland in 1609, he set about making his own. Within a few months, he had improved upon his first X9 magnification to a X32 magnification, pointed it towards the heavens and then published his observations in this book in 1610. Those observations included the first details of Jupiter's four moons and his revelations about galaxies such as the Milky Way consisting of numerous stars. The drawings he made of the craters of the moon were published in this book for the first time and, building upon the previously published work of Nicolaus Copernicus, helped to change mankind's understanding of the universe from a geocentric (everything revolves around the Earth) model to a heliocentric (centered on the Sun) model.

The conflict Galileo's discoveries created with the Catholic Church finally resulted in Galileo being sentenced to house arrest for the remainder of his life. Remarkably, four centuries and 120 lunar spacecraft missions later, the church has yet to fully come to terms with the injustices committed against Galileo.

The record price for this book is $662,500 which was achieved at a Christie's (New York) auction in December, 2010.

$399,000 | Autograph Manuscript Notes on Physics and Solid Geometry (1694) by Sir Isaac Newton

Heritage Auction Description

New York | September 4, 2019

This two-page autograph manuscript in Latin by Sir Isaac Newton contains notes on physics and solid geometry, though the page numbers of another reference referred to in the text have not been identified. As Newton is one of the foremost scientists in history, these scientific notes need little context to be significant.

$404,218 | ‘Civitates orbis terrarium’ (1575-1618) by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg

Binoche et Giquello Auction Description

Paris | May 14, 2019

Unlike the "Theatrum orbis terrarum" of Abraham Ortelius - a universal atlas published in 1570, comprising sea charts and maps of various countries of the world - of which it is generally considered to be the counterpart, this atlas contains only maps and views of the main cities in Europe, Asia, Africa and America, thus giving a global vision of urban life at the turn of the 17th century. Indeed, no less than 300 different cities are represented in this book, mainly cities in France (Paris, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Lyon, Tours, Rouen, Bordeaux, Marseille, Orléans, La Rochelle, Besançon, Metz, Avignon, etc. ) and northern regions (Edinburgh, Bristol, Oxford, London, Canterbury, Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Leuven, Utrecht, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Delft, Amsterdam, Harlem, Nuremberg, Mainz, Cologne, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Bergen en Norway, etc.), central (Prague, Basel, Salzburg, Vienna, Krakow, etc.) and southern (Lisbon, Toledo, Granada, Bilbao, Seville, Barcelona, ​​Milan, Venice, Ostia, Rome, Genoa, Naples, Verona, Tivoli, etc.) from Europe. There are also views and maps of Moscow, Grodna (now Belarus) and Vilnius in Lithuania.

$470,189 | Apple-1 personal computer (1976)

Christie's Auction Description

Online | May 23, 2019

The Apple-1 computer was the first personal computer sold with a fully assembled motherboard and was the product that catalyzed the formation of Apple Computer, now the world’s largest company.
Apple has been integral to the computer revolution and has directly changed the lives of hundreds of millions of people. It’s hence natural that the computer that started it all should be a sought-after item, being massively historically significant by almost any measure.

Around 85 Apple 1 computers are thought to still exist, though the acknowledged Apple I registry has only verified 54 at this stage. With such limited supply it is not surprising that the price of the original Apple I has skyrocketed over the last two decades, though it seems that almost no-one saw it coming because 20 years ago an Apple I could be procured for less than $10,000.

There have long been reports that an Apple I sold at auction in 1999 for US$50,000, but we can’t verify that price or the occurrence of the auction - most likely an erroneous report that was copied and regurgitated.

In 2000, the Vintage Computer Festival auctioned an Apple I for US$14,000, with another auction at VCF in 2002 seeing another Apple I fetch the same $14,000 price.

Over the next decade to 2010, another half dozen Apple I computers sold at auction, with the highest known price during this period for an Apple I being $50,000 for an auction on eBay in 2009.

The first sign that the Apple I would become an auction block favorite was in 2010, just nine years ago, when Christies sold an Apple-1 motherboard for GBP 133,250 (US$210,864). It was the first recorded sale of an Apple computer for more than $50,000 and since that sale, there have only been three Apple I sales for less than $100,000.

Prices increased dramatically in the period directly after Steve Jobs death in October, 2011, with Sotheby’s selling an Apple I for $374,500 in June, 2012, then Köln-based Auction Team Breker selling an Apple I in November 2012 for $640,000, and another in May, 2013 for $668,000.

The record price for an Apple I computer at auction is $905,000, set by Bonhams in October, 2014, with Charitybuzz since selling two Apple I computers at undisclosed prices in the same price bracket - one sale known to have been $815,000 in 2016, and another in June, 2018 for an undisclosed price.

$502,234 | ‘De Groote Nieuwe Vermeerderde Zee-Atlas ofte Water-Werelt’ (1688) by Johannes van Keulen

Christie's Auction Description

London | June 5, 2019

This hand-colored maritime atlas combines baroque artistry with a technical ability that resulted in a half century of steady publication for the atlas from 1680 to 1734. Beginning publication in 1680, the first edition of this book contained only 36 charts but this edition published eight years later contains 135 numbered double-page engraved charts.

$564,500 | ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’ (1859) by Charles Darwin

Hindman Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

Chicago | November 5, 2019

Charles Darwin's masterwork, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, is unquestionably one of the most important books ever published.

Remarkably, this book fetched a record price for a first edition. Just 1200 copies were initially printed and an outlier result in 2017 appears to have catalyzed many first edition to reach auction in 2018 and 2019.

The highest price ever fetched by this book was a copy of the third edition, which had Darwin's hand-written revisions in the margins. As the 23 known presentation copies are all devoid of any inscriptions by Darwin's own hand, the third edition copy sold for $1,054,100 (£788,75) at a Christie's auction on December 13, 2017.

Normally, the highest priced copy is a ‘First Edition’ and following the exceptional 2017 result, five copies sold in 2018: by Morton Subastas in Mexico City MXN5,551,200 (US$288,660); for $284,839 (£212,500 at Sotheby's on July 10); $162,500 (at Christie's New York on December 4); $125,869 (€109,946 at Artcurial Paris on November 19); and $138,698 (£105,000 at Bonhams London on June 20).

The oversupply of 2018 continued in 2019 with the highest price of $564,500 at Hindman setting a new record for a first edition, and other results also very healthy: $500,075 at Bonhams (New York, on June 13, 2019); $280,403 at Christie’s (£225,000 in London on July 9); $266,475 Aguttes (€240,500 in Paris on November 17, 2019); $198,519 Lyon & Turnbull (£162,500 in Edinburgh on October 9); and $196,478 at Bonhams (£150,062 in London on December 4).

The reason for the particularly high price of the Morton Subastas copy is that it was one of 23 courtesy copies that were delivered by the publisher to scientists and renowned people of the time.

$605,433 | ‘Description De L'Egypte Ou Recueil Des Observations Et Des Recherches Qui Ont Été Faites En Egypte Pendant L'expédition De L'Armée Française’ (1809-1830)

Sotheby's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | November 12, 2019

The Description de l'Égypte was a series of publications, begun in 1809 and continuing until 1830, which offered a comprehensive scientific description of ancient and modern Egypt.

It is the collaborative work of about 160 civilian scholars and scientists who accompanied Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in 1798 - 1801 as part of the French Revolutionary Wars, as well as about 2000 artists and technicians, including 400 engravers, who would later compile it into a full work. The full set is breathtaking in its beauty and comprehensiveness.

Sadly, all of the original manuscripts for this historically significant masterpiece were lost in 2011 when a fire engulfed Egypt's Institute for the Advancement of Scientific Research, destroying 166,000 of the historical manuscripts on hand.

$612,212 | ‘Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica’ (1687) by Sir Isaac Newton

Christie's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | July 9, 2019

Among the most influential books ever to have been produced, Newton’s Principia and Opticks both became cornerstones of scientific thought. Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was knighted in 1705 by Queen Anne, but there have been many people knighted for far less justification. Newton's Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica was the culmination of the scientific revolution, effectively ushering in the era of modern science and modern physics with its mathematical explanations for gravity and motion. Albert Einstein best summed it up with the words, "perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make."

The first edition was published in Latin on July 5, 1687 and when copies of that initial print run come to auction, they always appear in our annual list of the most valuable scientific documents of the year. The last full copy to reach auction sits in the Top 10 most valuable scientific documents of all time, fetching $3,719,500 at a Christies auction in New York in December, 2016.

$623,702 | Dodo skeleton

Christie's Auction Description

London | May 24, 2019

The flightless dodo bird (Raphus cucullatus) has been a symbol for extinct species in general for more than a century, thanks to being popularized by Lewis Carroll who used the Dodo as a character in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. A native of Mauritius, the last live specimen was seen in 1662. This specimen is the only complete skeleton to have been assembled in the 19th century still in private hands. There's a more complete story and video about the Dodo on Christie's site, and though imagery of the bird is rare, a Dodo sculpture by Michele Vitaloni sold for $25,392 (£20,000) at the same sale. The last near complete dodo skeleton to go to auction sold for £346,300 ($430,410) in 2016.

$734,497 | ‘De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, libri V’ (1543) by Nicolaus Copernicus

Christie's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | July 10, 2019

De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the revolutions of the heavenly spheres), by Nicolaus Copernicus was published less than 500 years ago, and for the first time presented compelling evidence that the Earth was not the center of the universe with Copernicus' heliocentric theory. This book was published in 1543, though its core text was written at least 30 years prior, and Copernicus resisted publication for many decades due to its heretical implications. He was finally handed one of the first printed copies on his death bed – a copy from the same print run as the copy to be auctioned.

First editions of this book have three times fetched more than a million dollars, being $1,295,767 (£825,250 | Sotheby's | November 30, 2011), $1,224,608 (£666,400 | Sotheby's | June 10, 2004) and $1,069,805 (£662,500 | Christie's | November 20, 2013).

$735,000 | 1994 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences awarded to John Forbes Nash, Jr.

Christie's Auction Description

New York | October 25, 2019

In 2016, the Nobel Prize of John Forbes Nash Junior went to auction with an official estimate of US$2.5 million to $4.0 million and even higher expectations. The medal failed to make reserve and was passed in, cooling expectations in the Nobel prize marketplace. In 2019, the medal went to auction again with a conservative $500,000 to $800,000 official estimate, and the same stellar unofficial expectations of a medal with an academy-award-winning movie behind the story.

As we have endlessly demonstrated in our research, film, television or any type of media provenance generally multiplies the value of an object many times, and the captivating story of the American mathematician who made fundamental contributions to human understanding of game theory then battled mental illness won four academy awards as a movie.

Nash’s struggles with mental illness and his recovery became the basis for Sylvia Nasar's biography, A Beautiful Mind, as well as the film of the same name starring Russell Crowe, and made Nash's story internationally known.

The medal sold for a relatively humble $735,000 compared with the Nobel prize medals of Francis Crick and James Watson (which fetched $2,270,500 and $4,757,000), demonstrating that even a compelling movie cannot elevate an inspiring story beyond a landmark scientific achievement. The full story of the Nobel prize at auction makes interest reading.

$800,000 | Four-Rotor M4 Kriegsmarine Enigma Cipher Machine

Sotheby’s Auction Description

New York | December 17, 2019

The most expensive of a number of German WW2 Enigma cipher machines sold during 2019, this fully operational four-rotor ("M4") 1942 Kriegsmarine (German Navy) Enigma Cipher Machine was seized from the Bauaufsicht der Kriegsmarine (Naval Construction Brigade) in Trondheim, Norway, after the capitulation of Nazi forces there in 1945.

The rarest and most desirable of all enigmas, the M4 was one of the hardest to decrypt. Very few M4 machines survived the war, and to find one that is complete, with traceable provenance, still in such pristine condition, and fully operational is rare indeed.

The $800,000 price of this Enigma machine is the most ever paid for an Enigma, and more than double the second highest priced Enigma of the year - $338,630 at RR Auction on December 4 for a fully functioning 1935 Enigma I machine.

$963,478 | ‘Arcano del Mare’ by Sir Robert Dudley

Christie's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

London | December 11, 2019

Printed in six parts as two broadsheet (565 x 420mm) volumes, Arcano del Mare by Sir Robert Dudley is one of the landmark texts in history for many reasons. It was the first ever sea-atlas, the first atlas with all the charts produced using Mercator’s projection, the first to give prevailing winds and currents, the first to give magnetic declination, and the first to expound the benefits of ‘Great Circle Sailing.’

As described by Wardington: "The ‘Arcano del Mare’ was a monumental and totally original task, the charts, representations of instruments and diagrams all engraved on huge quantities of copper over many years with an exactitude incorporating the minutest detail and printed on the best possible paper. The whole surpassed anything published before and not equalled in quality until fifty years later."

$963,478 | Medieval Astrolabe Quadrant, circa 1291-1310

Christie's Auction Description

London | December 11, 2019

One of only eight known medieval astrolabe quadrants, and the only one in private hands in a contemporary leather case, this highly important device is believed to have been manufactured in Southern France.

The astrolabe quadrant was invented by Jacob ben Machir ibn Tibbon (ca.1236-1305), who studied medicine at Montpellier in France, and though its provenance is unknown, it is thought that it might be one of the very first such instruments.

The palm-sized brass device is an astronomical instrument with engraved markings directly derived from those of the astrolabe, but reduced and repositioned to fit inside a quarter-circle. In essence, the astrolabe quadrant is an astrolabe folded twice on itself.

$1,152,000 | Darth Vader mask and helmet from 'The Empire Strikes Back'

Profiles in History Auction Description (no link)

Los Angeles | September 26, 2019

He’s the best known villain in history, courtesy of being the ultimate bad guy in the best known sci-fi franchise of all-time: Star Wars. Vader’s helmet, mask and entire costume from various Star Wars films have been to auction before, but this is the first time that any Star Wars costume or movie prop has achieved a million dollar result. Remarkably, Bonhams had intended to auction an entire Darth Vader costume from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) in May this year but withdrew the lot without explanation. Based on the attained result by Profiles in History on September 26, that entire costume has appreciated in value somewhat since it was first listed.

$1,215,000 | ‘Somma di arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni e proporzionalità’ by Luca Pacioli

Christie's Auction Description

New York | June 12, 2019

There are several books which can be reasonably argued as being one of the most influential books ever written, and Somma di arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni e proporzionalità is one of them.

It is essentially a 600-page mathematics encyclopedia written by Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli (1447 – 1517), a University Mathematics professor, Franciscan friar and the man who taught mathematics to Leonardo da Vinci. The book provides a comprehensive summary of practical mathematics, arithmetic, basic algebra, geometry and most importantly, accounting.

Volume 1 Chapter 9 of Somma di arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni e proporzionalità is the chapter which describes double entry book-keeping, a practice that had been pioneered by the Jewish community of the Middle East in the 11th century, and had been in use for at least 200 years by the merchants of Italy prior to Paciloli Venice codifying the system in this book. By writing it down, explaining it, promoting the Hindu-Arabic numeral system over the still-in-use Roman numerals, and giving a raft of practical examples, Pacioli earned a place in history as the father of accounting.

Auction House Christie's, which auctioned this book, describes it as "the birth of modern business."

With this fundamental enabling technology for commerce explained and printed in Venice, the knowledge propagated internationally. At that time, Venice was the most influential European trade hub, with established links to all the major European trade hubs and the merchants therein. For context, Jane Gleeson-White, the author of Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance, describes Venice at that time as "a cross between New York and Silicon Valley."

The auctioned copy of Luca Pacioli's Somma di arithmetica is the only known copy with its original binding, and one of only three complete copies recorded at auction in the last 50 years.

It should be noted that while this was the most valuable, another copy of this work auctioned during the year, fetching $593,625 (€526,200) at Finarte in Rome on June 20.

$1,296,654 | Diplodocus Skeleton (no sale - high bid)

Aguttes Auction Description

Paris | June 13, 2019

Little more than a century ago, a dinosaur skeleton was in the same auction price bracket as the work of a Grand Master. That was before we understood the age of our stratified natural history and advanced geological surveying enabled us to map the age of the Earth's surface.

Once we understood where the undisturbed land of the dinosaurs reached the planet's surface, dinosaur remains became a lot easier to find, and these days the skeletal remains of these real life mythical creatures are common enough to be within the reach of your average scientifically-besotted ultra-wealthy individual.

It's still not that often that a dinosaur skeleton comes to auction, and even rarer still is a Diplodocus skeleton. This particular skeleton comes from the Diplodocus family, but is described by Parisian auction house Aguttes as a "cousin of the Diplodocus" and likely belongs to a new genus of basal diplodocid.

Dubbed "skinny", this Diplodocus skeleton is one of just seven known that are largely complete and it is one of the most complete (even likely the most complete) sauropod skeletons ever discovered in the Morrison Formation.

Unlike other most other dinosaur skeletons, skinny's restoration process has been fully documented, so that it is ready for scientific study.

Large patches of scaly skin are extensively preserved around different parts of skinny's skeleton; the first time that such an amount of skin impressions can be found directly associated with skeletal elements in a sauropod.

Only a few Diplodocus skeletons have ever reached auction, with the most recent prior to this being the above 12-m (39-ft) skeleton which fetched $1,733,384 (€ 1,180,000) at French auction house Binoche et Giquello in April, 2018. The previous Diplodocus skeleton to reach auction was 17 m (56 ft) long and sold for $650,735 (£400,000) by Summer Place Auctions in 2013.

$1,523,428 | Friedrich von Hayek Nobel Prize

Sotheby's Auction Description

Online | March 20, 2019

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” - F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

Friedrich Von Hayek may not be generally recognized as one of mankind’s greatest contributors, but he unquestionably was one of the great intellectual figures of the 20th century.

The Economist called him, “the Century’s greatest champion of economic liberalism" and the Sotheby’s auction description described him thus: "His writings as an economist and political philosopher, and especially his explanation of the relationship between market forces and personal freedom, have had a profound impact in shaping the modern world. His ideas and his books, notably ‘The Road to Serfdom’, transcend the academy. They were both a key part of the intellectual ferment that undermined the Soviet bloc, and have influenced generations of free-market policy-makers in the West and around the world."

The price achieved by Von Hayek’s Nobel Prize at auction is the third highest ever fetched by one of these medallions, behind only those of Crick and Watson.

$1,820,000 | Video of the moon landing

Sotheby's Auction Description

New York | July 20, 2019

Three original unrestored, unenhanced and unremastered NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 lunar landing marked EVA (Extravehicular Activity). These tapes were purchased by Gary George, along with another 1,147 tapes at a government surplus auction in 1973 for $217.77 and he certainly got a lot more than he thought with that purchase.

The tapes are believed to have been viewed just three times since they were originally recorded on the Moon. Miraculously, the tapes are in faultless condition, and have been digitized directly to 10-bit uncompressed files, and are being sold with an accompanying a one-terabyte hard drive.

$2,055,000 | Neil Armstrong's One and Only Apollo 11 Lunar Module Flown MS67 NGC 14K Gold Robbins Medal

Heritage Auction Description

Dallas | July 18, 2019

One of three specially-minted gold medals flown aboard Apollo 11, on then to the surface of the moon in the Lunar Module Eagle. There were 400 medallions aboard Apollo 11, but just those three, being one each for Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, went to the surface of the moon. This medal comes from the Armstrong Family collection and is one of the three.

$2,900,000 | URWERK atomic clock and synchronized wristwatch

Phillips Auction Description

New York | December 10, 2019

The limited edition URWERK AMC is a hybrid timekeeping construction that consists of two autonomous, but linked, systems. The first part – the Atomolith - is a fixed base unit, a 35kg aluminium-housed atomic clock a bit bigger than a briefcase. The second part is a mobile unit, a purely mechanical watch that can be worn on the wrist or securely docked within the base unit. When worn, the accuracy of the mobile unit is dictated by its 4Hz (28,800vph) mechanical oscillator and the conditions it is subjected to. When docked, the mobile unit is synchronised with its base unit, via a complex and ingenious system that senses any timing discrepancy between the two and chronometrically aligns the mechanical movement of the wristwatch with the high-accuracy atomic clock. When sold new at the beginning of 2019, the system retailed for $2.7 million, so it has increased in value already.

$6,642,400 | ‘The Birds of America’ (1827-1838) by John James Audubon

Sotheby's Auction Description

Digital Copy Online

New York | December 19, 2019

The Birds of America is a book by Franco-American ornithologist, naturalist and artist John James Audubon (1785 – 1851), first published as an irregular series between 1827 and 1838. Audubon painted, cataloged, and described the birds of North America in their natural environments in this quite unique book and his name lives on through the American National Audubon Society, a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to conservation.

Fewer than 200 sets of the original "elephant edition" (a reference to its size of 99 cm by 66 cm - yes, the book stands a meter tall) were published, containing 435 life-sized watercolors of North American birds and this astonishingly beautiful work is now reproduced digitally on the Audubon site for all to behold. Reproduction editions of the books in "baby elephant" format are also available, and given that this book would constitute the majority of the top 10 scientific documents ever sold if we counted the multiple copies that have achieved astronomical prices, the $185 price makes an ideal gift for conservationists and bird lovers. Highly recommended.

There are nearly 100 recorded auction sales of bound volumes of Birds of America for prices in excess of $100,000 and seven auction sales in excess of US$3,000,000. Not counting this sale, those prices for Birds of America include $11,570,496 (£7,321,250) at Sotheby's (London) in December, 2010, $8,802,500 by Christie's in March, 2000, $7,922,500 by Christie's in January, 2012, $5,616,000 by Christie's in December, 2005, $3,525,000 by Sotheby's in April, 2014, $3,043,040 (£1,760,000) by Sotheby's in June, 1990 and $3,027,500 by Christie's in October, 1993.

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