NEW YORK, NY.-
A giant mosaic of the near side of the moon is on sale with Bonhams
on 5th December in New York (estimate $80,000-$100,000).
The US Information Agency (1953-1999) commissioned Kodak to create the mosaic in 1967. The images were taken from NASAs Lunar Orbiter IV whose purpose was to photograph the front side of the moon at a high resolution quality. Kodak was then responsible for manipulating the images into this gigantic mosaic.
Comprised of 218 panels, the mosaic constructed spans in the region of 34 x 24 ft overall. Once assembled the photographs were covered with clear plastic, so the public could effectively walk upon the moon following in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong.
Only two mosaics were produced and one was exhibited in a gymnasium in Prague, during the 1967 August International Astronomical Union meeting. The version on sale is the second copy as the Prague mosaic, despite many searches, has been deemed to be lost.
Matthew Haley, Specialist in the Space History department commented, "This is an extraordinary photographic item and the future owner will be able to literally walk on the moon.
As a completely unique item to come to the market, we are expecting a lot of interest in this remarkable photographic mosaic.
Other notable lots in the sale include John Russells globe representing the visible surface of the moon (estimate $200,000- $300,000) and a gelatin silver print of the crater Aristarchus, taken by the Lunar Orbiter V (estimate $100,000-$150,000).