Sotheby’s Space Photography auction includes NASA ‘Red Number’ prints

28 Nov

Sotheby’s auction house is holding an online Space Photography auction that includes multiple NASA ‘Red Number’ photographs, as well as vintage silver gelatin and other chromogenic prints featuring spacecraft, astronauts, and more. Sotheby’s estimates the prints will sell for between around $ 600 and $ 9,000 each, depending on the print.

The Space Photography auction features more than 200 lots featuring vintage prints, some of which are signed by Jack Fletcher, Buzz Aldrin, LMP Fred Haise and others. A large percentage of the photos are original NASA ‘Red Number’ prints, which means they’re chromogenic color photographs that include unique NASA image ID numbers printed in red in the photo’s margin.

Some of the space prints include a watermark, such as ‘This Paper Manufacturered by Kodak,’ as well as press captions printed on the back of the prints in purple ink. NASA ‘Red Number’ prints include the launch of the Skylab 4/Saturn 1B space vehicle, pre-launch preparations, the launch of Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-1), various shots of the Space Shuttles Discovery, Atlantis, and Challenger, and more.

The auction includes other non-Red Number vintage space prints, including three that feature UFO sightings that happened in Switzerland in the 1970s, vintage large format prints of iconic NASA lunar photos, and more. The NASA ‘Red Number’ prints come from the collection of Philip Kulpa.

A total of 140 photographs are available as part of ‘The Vintage NASA Photo Collection of Philip Kulpa,’ and they’re joined by a selection of prints from the estate of Bill Taub, NASA’s first senior photographer who covered all major NASA missions from the launch of Mercury to the end of Apollo. The online auction is open to bids until December 3, 2019, at 12 PM EST, according to Sotheby’s.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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