Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Auctions - Reviews & Results
  Bonhams Oct. 15: von Braun's sketches and letters for Collier's magazine

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Bonhams Oct. 15: von Braun's sketches and letters for Collier's magazine
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-02-2008 09:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bonhams Sale 16116 - Fine Books and Manuscripts, 15 Oct 2008
Los Angeles and New York
Lot No: 1205
35 Autograph Diagrams, Sketches, and Letters, most Signed ("Wernher von Braun" and "Wernher"), 4to, [Huntsville, AL?], 1952-1953, being the basis for Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman, and Rolf Klep's illustrations for the series "Man will Conquer Space Soon!" in Collier's magazine, the plans and diagrams on graph paper, all extensively annotated, mounted on album leaves with stamp hinges, 4 framed and glazed.

During the 1950s, von Braun pursued his own fascination with space exploration, a counterfoil to his official work on military rockets which had culminated in the V-2 rocket fired on England on September 7, 1944. Just days before Germany's official surrender, von Braun and his team defected to the encroaching American Forces and were brought to the United States to head up the country's rocket development team.

While working on the Redstone rocket, von Braun produced a series of articles that formed the centerpiece of the series "Man Will Conquer Space Soon!", published in Collier's between March 22, 1952 and April 30, 1954. His dream was for a space station that could serve as the starting point for manned lunar landings, the construction of permanent lunar bases, and ultimately a mission to put men on Mars.

The present plans and sketches are the source material for the illustrations by Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman and Rolf Klep that accompanied the series. Bonestell's cover for Collier's, March 22, 1952, showed the front portion of the "3-Stage Satellite Vehicle" discarding the second booster, while in orbit around Earth. Nine heavily annotated diagrams by von Braun in the present group describe this vehicle and its orbits from different angles and at varying levels of detail ("Aft portion 1st Satellite Vehicle... 39 hexagonal exhaust nozzles," "Speed here: 3.1 mi/sec... Skin temp: 1350F (maximum!)"). Further plans include: "One-way ship"; "Round trip ship" ("debarking on the moon", "as it looks at departure from satellite orbit"); "Orbit-to-orbit space ship for trip around the moon"; "Baby Satellite" ("For Chesley Bonestell's take-off picture," "Mechanism of deployment of solar mirror"). Eight sketches show trailers and other parts of what is presumably a lunar base. They are fitted with radar and television antennas, as well as banks of computers. These more informal sketches shed light on the working relationship of von Braun and the Collier's artists: "Fred [Freeman]: I think a 10ft antenna looks to [sic] clumsy on roof of trailer. Suggest to mount it on some sort of gun carriage like this. I am sure you will find something of this sort in technical literature... (This is only an unpretentious sketch)."

The three letters addressed to "Connie" (Cornelius Ryan, the editor of the series), are in a similar vein. One gives detailed descriptions "for Rolf Klep's headquarters layout": "you will find six boxes marked 'IBM punchcard machines'... If Rolf or you go to the next IBM sales office in New York... and ask for literature about data reduction and evaluation equipment, you'll get the dope." The other two are more hurried notes, dashed off late at night ("20 April, 25h" - presumably 1am): "Here are some more diagrams. Please run off some Photostats, distribute them to Chesley, Rolf and Fred... For Chesley they should be self-explanatory (I hope). After all - he doesn't show the finer details anyhow. But please ask him to send his working sketches for a check-up before he tackles the paint brush."

Von Braun was made Director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in 1960, but it was only at the end of that decade that his dream to see man on the Moon was realized.

Estimate: $15,000 - 25,000

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-10-2008 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Huntsville Times: Von Braun drawings will be up for auction
Dr. Wernher von Braun's early blueprints for space exploration will be up for bid at a prestigious New York auction house next week.

Drawings of space ships, satellites and advanced computer controls - all signed by von Braun - will be auctioned at the London-based Bonhams New York location beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

...Fred Ordway of Huntsville, who worked on spaceship design with von Braun in the 1950s, said the Collier's series attracted a lot of attention then, and is still referenced by space enthusiasts.

"There is no doubt in my mind it helped fan the flames of imagination for space exploration. You can see the linear progression from Collier's, to Sputnik, to John F. Kennedy's announcement about landing a man on the moon," Ordway said. "It certainly had a great deal of impact on reality and fiction."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-15-2008 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Washington Post: Von Braun's Futurist Papers To Be Auctioned
A cache of those drawings, as well as notes and letters explaining them further, was collected and sold, falling into unidentified private hands some time before Collier's stopped publication in 1957. Today, 35 of those items will be sold by Bonhams auction house in Los Angeles, with a simulcast in New York...

"Von Braun saw these articles as very serious events, and he wanted to make sure the illustrations were based on real science," said Catherine Williamson, director for books and manuscripts for Bonhams. "These drawings are famous in their own right, and are well-known by collectors interested in space."

They were also prescient, imagining designs that frequently resembled NASA creations built years later. Williamson says she expects von Braun's works to go for as much as $25,000 apiece.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-15-2008 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lot No. 1205, the Wernher von Braun papers, sold today at Bonhams for $132,000 (inclusive of the buyer's premium).

spaceflori
Member

Posts: 1376
From: Germany
Registered: May 2000

posted 10-16-2008 05:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gulp... anybody said something about a financial crisis?

That must be a record, almost in line with the first Sotheby's sale!

Florian

Joel Katzowitz
Member

Posts: 326
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 10-16-2008 04:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Man, I might have to raise the prices on the von Braun pages I'm selling!!!

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement