The Natural History sale, given an Evolution theme, at Hôtel Drouot concluded last week. Amongst the lots were a number of space related pieces which we looked forward to appearing, both meteorites and manmade lots.
Amongst the meteorites, the clear star of the show was the 130kg octahedrite discovered in Argentina in 1576, which sold for €31,249, whilst a smaller octahedrite beat its €5,500-5,800 estimate to sell for €6,000.
The space exploration memorabilia was probably the more successful part of the sale with most of the items we focussed on easily passing their estimates.
The extra-grip hammer taken into space for extra-vehicular activities (EVA) sold for €6,250, beating its top estimate of €5,000, whilst a heat-resistant tile from a craft used on a Soyuz mission sold for €7,500, beating its listing of €5,500-6,000.
Naturally, the greatest interest was in the spacesuits, and the two most interesting pieces didn't disappoint.
A suit used by veteran cosmonaut Dzhanibekov Aleksandrovich had been valued at €30,000-35,000. The suit was designed specifically for landing and taking of, during which time pressure variations may be substantial, and the suit is fitted with a carefully engineering pressure gauge to deal with exactly this problem.
Perhaps due to its association with a cosmonaut who had completed several space flights, the suit intrigued bidders who pushed the price past its estimate, and it was taken home for €43,749.
Space collectors may be interested to view a fantastic item we currently have available: Apollo 11 pilot Michael Collins' flight suit.
The most exciting lot for many however was a space suit designed for working outside a space craft in the rigours of the cosmos itself. The EVA space suit was already expected to sell for €65,000-75,000 but bidders pushed it past even this to sell for an impressive €87,497.
Bidders prepared to travel in search of their space collectibles will now look forward to the I M Chait auction in California.