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Sotheby's announces highlights from the inaugural History of Science & Technology auction
The First Electric Sound Synthesizer. A Helmholtz sound synthesizer, manufactured in Chemnitz by Max Kohl after the design by Hermann von Helmholtz, ca 1905 Estimate $25/35,000.


NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced its inaugural History of Science & Technology auction. Taking place on 12 December in our New York headquarters, the sale examines advancements beginning with the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century and continuing through to the Computing Revolution of the 20th century, and taking a close look at innovations in subjects ranging from physics, mathematics, cryptography, and technology, to medicine, astronomy, and space exploration. Visitors are invited to witness firsthand the development of scientific knowledge in variety of forms – from books & manuscripts, to scientific instruments and technological artifacts, to photography and original artwork – through the pre-sale exhibition, which opens to the public on 7 December.

INNOVATIONS IN TECHNOLOGY
The First Electric Sound Synthesizer
A Helmholtz sound synthesizer, manufactured in Chemnitz by Max Kohl after the design by Hermann von Helmholtz, ca 1905. Estimate $25/35,000

A magnificent example of Hermann von Helmholtz’s sound synthesizer, an electronically driven device used for artificially creating musical sounds of different timbre, and the vowels of the human voice.

Enigma M4. Estimate $350/500,000
A very fine and fully operational example of the famous German four-rotor (“M4”) Kriegsmarine Enigma Cipher Machine, this model, the rarest and most desirable of all enigmas, was the most difficult to decrypt. The Enigma M4 leads the group of five fully-operational cipher machines being offered in this unique sale.

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, The First Computer Programmer. Estimate $19/25,000
After decades out of the spotlight, Ada Lovelace, also known as the ‘Enchantress of Numbers’, is finally getting the attention that she so rightly deserves. Encouraged and inspired by Charles Babbage and his invention, the first mechanical computer, Lovelace translated Luigi Menabrea’s article on the Analytical Engine and subsequently described an algorithm for Babbage’s Analytical Engine, thereby becoming the world’s first ever computer programmer.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: LEADING VOICES FROM GIANTS OF SCIENCE
Isaac Newton, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. London: Apud Guil. & Joh. Innys, Regi æ Societatis Typographos, 1726. Estimate $8/12,000

Albert Einstein’s personal copy of Isaac Newton’s landmark book, apparently a gift from famed photographer, Roman Vishniac. Newton’s influence on Einstein can also be found in a Typed Letter Signed and Note Signed to Herbert Kondo, dated 11 August, 1952, in which Einstein shares his respect for Newton as well as Galileo, Maxwell and Faraday (estimate $10/15,000).

Charles Darwin
Autograph Letter Signed, to James Grant. Down Beckenham, March 11, 1878. Estimate $40/60,000

Darwin the Atheist, or Darwin the Agnostic? One of only two letters to ever come to market treating Darwin’s struggle with religion, this revealing letter sheds incredible light on his doubts and uncertainties as to the existence of God. He writes: “the strongest argument for the existence of god…is the instinct or intuition which we all feel (as I suppose) that there must have been an intelligent beginner of the universe: but then comes the doubt and difficulty whether such institutions are trustworthy”.

VISIONARIES IN MEDICINE & SPACE EXPLORATION
The “Polio” Nobel Prize. Estimate $200/300,000

The Nobel Committee recognized one of the greatest scientific achievements of the modern era when it awarded Frederick C. Robbins with the prize for physiology or medicine in 1954. His life-saving research led to the development of the Polio vaccine.

Chelsey Bonestell, “Saturn, Viewed from Titan, One of It’s Satellites.” A Mid 1950’s Study for the 360° Titan Panorama, a 1 ½ x 20 Foot Panorama Created for the Griffith Observatory Planetarium in 1959. Estimate $100/150,000





Today's News

December 2, 2017

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Iconic paintings leave North America for the first time for Ashmolean exhibition

Exhibition at the Bruce Museum examines the print revival of the 1960s and '70s

Albert Einstein's letters are highlight of Christie's December online Auctions

Work by Morris Louis and photographic album by Ringl + Pit enter the collection of the National Gallery of Art

Phillips' Hong Kong Fall Auctions achieve US$41 million

Meadows Museum mourns the loss of curator Nicole Atzbach

Lévy Gorvy announces United States representation of François Morellet

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Exhibition at Julie Saul Gallery highlights the continuing influence of the past on the present

Belgian artist freed after 19 days chained to marble block

Brazilian galleries bring over 140 artists to Miami's art fairs in December

The Ringling works toward $5 million goal to preserve historic Ca' d'Zan

GAK Society for Contemporary Art opens exhibition of works by Than Hussein Clark

Parafin opens new show 'Secular Icons in an Age of Moral Uncertainty' curated by Coline Milliard

Artist Heimo Zobernig's fourth solo exhibition at Galerie Chantal Crousel opens in Paris

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Eduard Planting Gallery in Amsterdam presents 'Celebrating Harvest'

US actor Jim Nabors, TV's lovable Gomer Pyle, dies at 87

Exhibition presents Irving Penn's and Andy Warhol's perspectives side by side

Sotheby's announces highlights from the inaugural History of Science & Technology auction

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