Lot #7011
Liberty Bell 7 Original Painting by Mike Lee - From the Collection of Curt Newport

This lot has closed

Estimate: $800+


Original airbrushed painting by artist Michael Lee of the sunken Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, accomplished on 20.75 x 20 illustration board and depicting Gus Grissom’s Mercury-Redstone 4 capsule—with its hastily jettisoned escape hatch nearby—illuminated by a Nautile-like submersible carrying a recovery line. Signed in gray paint in the lower right, “Michael Lee 1988,” and the lower border featuring Lee’s contact information. In fine condition, with a tiny scuff near the upper-left of the capsule. Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Curt Newport, the team leader of the Liberty Bell 7 Recovery Expedition, who states: “I certify that this is an air-brush painting created by Michael Lee used to promote the Liberty Bell 7 project in the 1980s. It is from my personal collection.”

After unsuccessful efforts in 1992 and 1993, Oceaneering International, Inc. and a team led by Curt Newport lifted the Liberty Bell 7 off the Atlantic seabed and onto the deck of the recovery ship Ocean Project on July 20, 1999, the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The spacecraft was found after a 14-year effort by Newport at a depth of nearly 16,000 feet, some 350 miles east-southeast of Cape Canaveral. Among the items found within were parts of the flight gear, several Mercury dimes, and five one-dollar bills, the latter taken to space to be souvenirs of the flight. The spacecraft was transported to The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas, where it was disassembled and cleaned and is now on permanent display.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space Exploration
  • Dates: #646 - Ended October 20, 2022