A trove of materials related to the late, great Neil Armstrong including an amazing space-flown and moon-orbited Apollo 11 Crew-signed cover (estimate: $40,000+), originally from the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and just one of 214 such covers the astronauts signed and the famous Apollo 11 Mission will be offered as the collective centerpiece in Heritage Auctions
Nov. 2 Space Exploration Signature® Auction.
When Armstrong passed away on Aug. 25 it signified the end to one of bravest, most humble and most well-loved Americans to have ever lived, said Michael Riley, Senior Historian and Cataloger at Heritage Auctions. Anything that he signed, or that is related to him is incredibly sought-after by collectors of all shapes and sizes. His passing has only intensified that interest and we expect to see these lots reflect that.
Further Armstrong and Apollo 11material include, also directly from Collins collection, a crew-signed and moon-flown Apollo 11 Beta cloth mission insignia (estimate: $30,000+), signed by Armstrong, Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, an NGC MS68 Apollo 11 flown Robbins Medal (estimate: $25,000+)originally from the Personal Collection of Mission CapCom Charlie Duke, Serial Number 189, and a very rare page from the Apollo 11 Flight Plan (estimate: $25,000+), originally from The Collection of Buzz Aldrin, with notations made by Armstrong during the mission.
The Nov. 2 Heritage event in Dallas also marks the first Space Exploration Auction for the company since the passage on Sept. 19 and the signing on Sept. 25, by the President of The United States, of H.R. Bill 4158, confirming full ownership rights for all the American astronauts from Freedom 7 in 1961 to the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission in 1975 of the artifacts they kept from their space missions.
We at Heritage, to a person, salute the passage of this much needed legislation, said Riley. Were happy for the astronauts and their families, were happy for collectors everywhere who revere our brave space heroes and were happy that all the interested parties could settle the issue amicably. It will, in the long run, ensure responsible stewardship of many pieces of Space history. (hate to say that there are that many)
With H.R. Bill 4158 in mind, collectors will be thrilled to see a variety of important lots come across the block, all of them related to great names and events in the Space race. Among those items will be one of the most moving and important early grouping of space artifacts in the form of Gus Grissoms Apollo 1 Inflight Coverall jacket and trousers (estimate: $20,000+), which would have been worn by Grissom for the Apollo 1mission, along with his Mercury Seven signed photo (estimate: $8,000+) and his Apollo 1 crew-signed photo (estimate: $10,000+).
Certainly one of the most popular lots in the auction is going to an Apollo 12 Lunar Module ID plate (estimate: $25,000+), from Intrepid, the second Lunar Module to land on the moon from the Personal Collection of Mission Commander Pete Conrad.
Any ID plate off of an Apollo mission vehicle will capture the interest of serious collectors, said Riley. These are as rare and as important as almost any piece of space memorabilia that we see.
From astronaut Ed White II, who died alongside Grissom in the tragic Apollo 1launch pad test explosion, the auction features a number of key lots, most notably including Whites West Point Jacket (estimate: $5,000+) and his West Point ring (estimate: $20,000+), which White was likely wearing when he was killed. Included with his ring are a lot of 10 of the small group of mustard seeds he carried in his spacesuit pocket during his landmark spacewalk during Gemini 4 as a symbol of his religious faith.
One of the most interesting wrinkles of this intriguing sale is The Jim Rathmann Collection, which Heritage has broken out into its own separate section of the catalog for the auction.
A little more than 50 years ago, auto racing champion and Indy winner turned Florida car dealer Jim Rathmann negotiated a deal with GM that would supply Corvettes, or a car of their choice, to the astronauts at a very advantageous price, said Riley. His and the astronauts need for speed and excitement led to some very close friendships being formed, which also led to Rathmann assembling an important collection of space memorabilia.
Rathmann passed away late last in 2011 and many items from his monumental collection, most of which were gifts from his astronaut friends, are being offered here for the very first time. These include an Apollo 12 Flown Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 1 (estimate: $8,000+), originally presented to Rathmann by Apollo 12 Commander Charles Conrad, an Apollo 12 Flown Silver Robbins Medallion Pin with Diamond, Serial Number 4 (estimate: $8,000+), originally presented to Kay Rathmann by Conrad, a NASA Group Two Astronaut Color Photo Signed on the Mat (estimate: $6,000+), a 1961-D Roosevelt silver dime (estimate: $4,000+), one of a group that Grissom carried in his spacesuit during the Mercury 4 mission, Gus Grissom and Al Worden handwritten birthday wishes to Rathmann (estimate: $1,200+), with a direct and unique mention of Gemini 3, anEd White II autographed letter and signed color photo (estimate: $1,000+) and an Apollo 15 large color mission photo, signed by Al Worden (estimate: $600+), with a racing reference.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
Mercury-Redstone 3 (Freedom 7) Flown One Dollar Bill, Signed by Alan Shepard and others, with Signed LOA from NASA: A Series 1957A $1 Silver Certificate, serial number A52804224A, which flew with Alan Shepard on his historic sub-orbital flight, May 5, 1961. One of just four such bills flown on the free worlds First Manned Space Flight. Estimate: $10,000+.
NASA Astronaut Group One and Group Two Large Color Photo Signed: Signed by Americas first 16 astronauts. Estimate: $10,000+.
Apollo 7 Commander Wally Schirra's Flown Space Suit Patches (Three) in a Framed Display, Originally from His Personal Collection: An amazing relic of the first Apollo mission, three pressure suit patches that were worn by Schirra during Apollo 7, the landmark test flight of the newly-redesigned Apollo C/SM, October 11-22, 1968. Estimate: $8,000+.
Apollo 14 Flown American Flag Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell: This 6.125" x 4" cloth U.S. flag was carried aboard Apollo 14, the third successful moon landing mission, with crewmembers Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, January 31-February 9, 1971. Dr. Mitchell has signed this flag on the two lower white stripes: Flown to the moon aboard Kittyhawk/ on Apollo 14 Edgar Mitchell LMP. Estimate: $4,000+.
Apollo 15 Flown Scissors Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Command Module Pilot Al Worden: Measuring approximately 8.25" in length, this stainless steel surgical cutting tool, manufactured by Weck, was used by Worden during Apollo 15, the fourth manned lunar landing mission. The part number "SDB42100059-202" and serial number "1029" are both printed on one side near a piece of Velcro; the "Weck U.S.A. Stainless" manufacturer's mark is engraved on the other. Estimate: $10,000+.
Apollo 13 Flown American Flag on a Crew-Signed Certificate, Directly from the Personal Collection of Mission Commander James Lovell, Signed and Certified.A 6 x 4 U.S. flag that was on board Apollo XIII during its flight and emergency return to Earth Estimate $5,000+