Tuesday, January 18, 2011

History For Sale


Sorry about the late-breaking news, as I only just found this myself... a shame, since the auction ends on the 20th. If you are interested in authentic space program keepsakes, RRAuction is now conducting an auction of 450 various space items -- from grand posterity to playboy calendars!

There are the usual commemorative photographs, autographs, helmets, medals, etc.; and also tidbits like parachute fragments and money flown on particular missions. And seriously, someone took a beanie baby on a flight? (I don't know what's weirder, that a beanie baby has been to space, or that people are actually bidding on a beanie baby that has been to space!)

Neil Armstrong
Cardwell Chairman of the Board

There are 3 lots of cosmonaut memorabilia, and the rest is a varied collection of NASA items throughout the eras of X-planes, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttles. Most of the items start at $100, a handful begin in the $300-500 range, and a select few begin at $1,000. Not surprisingly, the Apollo lots have the most bids.

I've had an interesting morning going through all the items, and remembering the various mission details! Some lots have no bids at all yet, but I gather they didn't do as much promotion as they could among the popular space web sites we enthusiasts tend to frequent.

Gus Grissom
Virgil "Gus" Grissom

Some of the more colorful mementos, which is to say, the "list of things I wish I had on my fireplace mantel", include:

Lot #3 Wernher Von Braun telegrams a personal invitation to a 1968 Apollo launch on 'Moonday'

Lot #25 Ham the Chimp Napcoware Figurine

Lot #82 Gus Grissom's "Terrestrial" passport

Lot #139 Apollo Moon Rock Containment Vessel

Lot #145 Apollo Capsule Instrument Panel (!)

Ham the Chimp, 1961

Lot #201 Apollo 11 flight-flown printed fabric American flag
(In an exception to the rest of the financial amounts, bidding for this item started at $2,500 on January 13th, and now sits at $20,275!)

Lot #212 Neil Armstrong's Business Card

Lot #216 Apollo 11 Flight Plan

Lot #321 Lunar Surface Map

Lot #388 Skylab fragments gathered in Western Australia

Clicking around all the links can be time consuming, so an easier way to browse through all the items for visual enjoyment is to go to the Space Autograph and Artifact Auction online catalogue. This can be “page-flipped” in magazine style, and also has a handy ZOOM tool!