As proper reward for forging new frontiers and landing Apollo 11 on the moon, astronauts Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin traveled to Paris where they were presented with a trio of solid gold Lunar Excursion Module replicas created by Cartier. The gifts were a way of commemorating perhaps the greatest exploratory feat of the 20th century, and while two remain in private collections, the third comprises one of the 1,360 pieces of the Cartier Collection. Built precisely to reflect the actual landing module, the object is embedded at its core with a piece of microfilm from the French newspaper Le Figaro featuring the names of readers who donated funds for the distinction of being included in the momentous occasion.
Opening 16 March 2013 at The Forbes Galleries, “Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age” is an exhibition dedicated to interstellar jewelry in all forms, from pieces made to depict space exploration to jewelry worn by the astronauts themselves. A number of objects will be represented in the exhibition, with the gold lunar module representing the sort of historic rarities to be displayed.
Photograph by Nils Hermann, Cartier Collection