Artcurial have finally published the catalogue for their Aeronautics auction which we mentioned earlier in the year. The sale is to celebrate the maiden flight of the Mirage III - a supersonic jet designed in France and some other countries in the late 1950s by Dassault Aviation.
The first major production model of the Mirage series, the Mirage IIIC, first flew in October 1960, and Artcurial's sale is intended to celebrate the whole of aviation history, though roughly 100 of the near 500 lots are related closely to the Mirage.
Some of the key lots are:
A rare manuscript written by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935, pictured), a rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory who is remembered in particular for creating the rocket propulsion equation, which is named after him, as is a large crater on the far side of the moon.
"It is always difficult, my detractors forget that imagination has always been a driving force of science. Every thought must be founded on the basis of a strict scientific study and experimentation [...]
"I will attempt to prove once and for all that all calculations and experiments are done by nature [...]. Theconquest of the solar system is a necessity dictated by the history of mankind"
Signed four times by the great scientist, it is expected to sell for €15,000-18,000.
Watch collectors will be interested to see a rare pilot's bracelet watch, a Breguet Type XX 1st Generation. Made from French army steel it has a black dial with two counters and a small second counter at 9 o'clock. It is listed at €9,000-11,000.
A fascinating piece of history is captured by a model of the Bleriot XI - the plane which Louis Bleriot used to fly across the English Channel, which was the first flight of a heavier-than-air vehicle over a large body of water.
Around 20 models are thought to have been made. Bleriot used them to test the aerodynamics of the designs. This example is signed by him on the wing, and is listed at €20,000-22,000.
Leading the auction is an example of the Mirage 5 - a derivative of the Mirage III. This example, used mostly for low altitude reconnaissance and put into service in January 1971, has logged 2,769 hours of flight.
Intended for static display, this fantastic piece of European aviation history is expected to sell for around €30,000-35,000 in Artcurial's auction which will take place in Paris on October 29.
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