However interesting historically and culturally, the Vostok spaceship was also a piece for sale, and with a price tag attached; Sotheby’s own estimates had an unusually wide spread, from 2 to 10 million US, showing that they didn’t have much clue on how high the price can go. At the end it went higher than the initial bet, but nowhere near the upper bracket; the spacecraft was sold for 2,88 million USD.
Few hours earlier a painting by Henryk Siemiradzki, a Russian-Polish artist of 19th century, was sold by the same Sotheby’s house for 2,098,500 USD. Nice and piquant, this 77 by 155 cm, oil on canvas Dance with Swords is nevertheless not even remotely close to any first-rank masterpieces, neither by quality nor provenance. And yet, it commands ‘almost’ the same price as one of the first human spaceships.
Art > Tech; well, almost.