Bonhams to Auction Cold War Spacesuits

Bonhams New York is planning to put a U.S. spacesuit from 1960 on the block as part of their annual Space History auction on April 8th. The suit is a relic of America’s first manned flight program, Project Mercury, which operated from 1959 to 1963 and endeavoured to put an astronaut into orbit around the earth before Russia.

The silver suit, which has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000, is an example of the Phase 2 (c. 1960) model, made of green nylon coated in aluminized powder, complete with helmet and gloves. Perhaps to balance out the auction, Bonhams will also offer a spacesuit from the competition, a Russian Strizh suit. The Russian suit, one of only 27 created between 1981-1991, has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. The piece is especially rare since many of the other Strizh suits produced were damaged or destroyed.

“Astronauts were regarded as heroes, doing what we all wished we had the courage to do, and risking their lives for the greater good of mankind,” Bonhams Senior Specialist in Space History Cassandra Hatton said in a press release. “This suit is a symbol of that courage, and an important historic relic.”

— Christopher Kareska (@cwoodskares)

(Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams)