This is a follow on to this question and of course this answer regarding this painting:

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which we now know is a depiction by Rick Sternbach of the glideship Aurora and its hydrogen balloon, used to drop into the atmosphere of Jupiter in The Anvil of Jove by Gregory Benford and Gordon Eklund.

Where is this painting now?

  • I've got a +200 bounty for a solid answer on this. I won't post it yet so it doesn't expire before someone can find the answer. Feb 12, 2016 at 16:18
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    In-universe or out of it? The original or the prop (if there's a difference)?
    – SQB
    Feb 12, 2016 at 17:27
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    @SQB: Regarding the original or the prop: We can say with very high confidence that the one shown on the show is the original. There's no indication from any of the research in the linked answer that a copy was ever produced or why one would do so. Feb 12, 2016 at 17:41
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    @SQB: Out-of-universe. In-universe, we can probably presume it was destroyed along with the Enterprise-D unless there was extensive scavenging of parts, but that doesn't seem like it would be worth the effort for a painting when you have access to replicators. Feb 12, 2016 at 17:55
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    @ThePopMachine : Just so you know, I am working on this. ;-)
    – Praxis
    Feb 14, 2016 at 5:53

1 Answer 1


The painting is a reproduction. The original was sold at a convention before TNG aired.

I found this out by asking Rick Sternbach directly, via his professional web site.

In my email to him:

I'm writing to you because I am a member of "Scifi StackExchange", a question and answer forum on sci-fi works. On the site, there have been a couple of recent questions regarding a painting that appears on one of the set walls of the Enterprise-D (Shelby's guest quarters in "Best of Both Worlds"). This painting is the cover that you made for "The Anvil of Jove".

We're wondering: was the painting in the guest quarters the original painting? Also, what was the fate of that particular painting? Was it auctioned off?

Thanks for your time. Also, I hope it's okay if I post the answer to the forum.

His response:

Heh. We never used originals on set, of course (with the exception of the Enterprise in Picard’s ready room, and that painting was locked away after filming), but large prints made from color transparencies and negs. The original for Anvil of Jove was sold at some SF convention ages before TNG. I just gave our set decorator a pile of images and he picked ones he liked for the sets.

Thanks for the interest, though. Were a lot of fun years working on those shows.

All the best,



  • Original painting: sold off at some sci-fi convention (exact whereabouts unknown)
  • Reproduction seen in TNG: whereabouts unknown

Since not a lot of artwork used in the Enterprise quarters have gone to auction (as per my research on the Star Trek Prop Authority and other similar groups), I assume that it is either in the hands of the set decorator who made the reproduction, or was kept by some other TNG personnel, or is under lock and key for future auctions or Star Trek conventions, or was pulped. The last option is the least likely, but still possible. The second-to-last option is not likely either, considering that Rick made a point of mentioning that the Ready Room painting is the kind of decoration worthy of being locked away.

So my best guess is that the reproduction seen in the guest quarters is in the hands of some (unknown) member of the TNG design crew.

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    wow. Just wow. I don't think I can accept because we don't actually know the answer, but this deserves 50 upvotes. Did you link him to these two questions? I'd love to see his comments. Feb 15, 2016 at 4:08
  • @ThePopMachine : I've added a few more comments to the end. :-)
    – Praxis
    Feb 15, 2016 at 4:17
  • sure, +50 when the system will let me. But there's still a much bigger bounty for whoever can identify the current location of the original and/or reproduction. Feb 15, 2016 at 6:19
  • @ThePopMachine : Cool. I'll obviously keep thinking about it. :-)
    – Praxis
    Feb 15, 2016 at 6:21
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    @ThePopMachine : I should add, he responded to me within an hour! :-)
    – Praxis
    Feb 15, 2016 at 17:00

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