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  Skylab II "Wives" postcard and cacheted cover

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Author Topic:   Skylab II "Wives" postcard and cacheted cover
butch wilks
Member

Posts: 190
From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 04-16-2013 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can someone help me out please? I collect Skylab II "Wives" patch items and I have got a postcard and an airmail cover with the patch on them from the time of the mission.

But I have been told it was the only the postcard was made at the time. Can I ask if someone knows if some covers were made to at the time? Thanks.

kosmo
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Posts: 196
From:
Registered: Sep 2001

posted 04-16-2013 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kosmo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could you post a photograph of the postcard and cover? I also collect Skylab II wives items and have not seen these before.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 04-16-2013 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The postcard versions were never officially authorized, but were produced in July 1973 by a German philatelic dealer for commercial gain.

Also, there was never an official printed "wives" cachet cover. Instead of a printed cachet cover-type, the "wives" designer, Jacques Tiziou, did produce a very limited number of decal/sticker-affixed "wives" cachet covers.

If anyone is interested, I'll try to have Rob, Bob, or Steve depict the decal-affixed #10 type covers here.

butch wilks
Member

Posts: 190
From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 04-16-2013 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kosmo:
Could you post a photograph of the postcard and cover?
E-mail sent to you. Thanks for getting back to me.

butch wilks
Member

Posts: 190
From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 04-16-2013 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, thanks for getting back to me. I have one of the VIP decals/stickers signed by the two designers (number 545) you mention but it not on an postcard, just a decal/sticker.

I have been told that a decal/sticker and the postcards with the wives patch printed on it was handed out at the launch by the two of them. (This came from a number of references; on the patch, so I am a bit confused now.)

Thanks for the update on the postcard. So do you know who did the airmail cover?

Yes I'd like to see the decal-affixed #10 type covers please.

stevedd841
Member

Posts: 164
From: millersville, maryland, usa
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 04-17-2013 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, Butch, and Kosmo, please see the attached, the popularly called "Wives VIP Card" for the splashdown of the Skylab 3 mission of Alan Bean, Jack Lousma, and Owen Garriott was commissioned by their wives, Sue Bean, Gratia Kay Lousma, and Helen-Mary Garriott.

Hope this helps, sorry, I do not have the decaled cover, or the number 10 cover, only the astronaut VIP look alike card.

I understand that the wives also had the cards plastered all over the inside of the SL-3 spacecraft for the launch and orbit of the mission. Very clever, huh?!

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 04-17-2013 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw the recent postings here, however, to my knowledge (and let me check again with the original source), there were no "cards" aboard the Skylab OWS.

It was only the decal stickers there were placed, or if you will "hidden," so that the on-orbit SL-3 crewmembers would see them at various locations throughout the flight, and perhaps maybe an actual cloth patch or two!

And if I am not mistaken, without re-checking my "wives" file folders, there were no authorized "Welcome Home" VIP-type cards available for the splashdown. If I recall, a large number of them were produced by a German philatelic firm for recovery of the crew in such a humorous way.

stevedd841
Member

Posts: 164
From: millersville, maryland, usa
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 04-17-2013 05:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stevedd841   Click Here to Email stevedd841     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, went back to check my notes and can offer this addtional information. Ardis Shanks, who was an artist in the Houston area (and Alan Bean's art teacher) drew the female figure. She and French journalist Jacques Tiziou both had patches made from this design, and Tiziou had an astronaut acquaintance secret a number of patches in the Skylab II command module.
An interesting sidelight involves the wives' patch, a 'first' that was done without our knowledge. The first time we saw the 'wives' patch was when we arrived in orbit and began to open the storage lockers in the Command Module to get our gear out. Neatly pasted to the interior of three of these locker doors were decals of the "wives" patch. This was a great idea and consistent with one of our mottos, "Never lose your sense of humor."
(Ref: Jack Lousma, from "All We Did Was Fly to the Moon.")

So, Ken, you are correct, the wives VIP cards were not on the flight, nor were the wives covers either, only the decals. Everything else appears to have been post flight. Hope this clarifies things. Now, if you can find those decals...

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1823
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 04-17-2013 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw your posting, Steve, and I am a big fan of the "wives" patch and of Jacques Tiziou himself. We're good friends, since the 1970s, and have visited together, shared and worked on many space projects between us.

Just for the record, in what Tiziou had told me long ago, "I never did any 'wives' philatelic covers or cards, which I considered just a very personal inside joke."

He goes on to say, "But I have heard of some philatelic activity going on with reproductions of my design, as I know you had brought to my attention earlier."

Regarding the actual patch design, as Tiziou writes a long two-page letter to me about it three decades ago, "I had the idea of the patch, conceived it from a to z, designed and drew all the color selections, BUT not the black and white drawing of the woman."

He also writes about doing a limited number of #10 envelopes or covers. Most of them, he tells me, went to the wives, family, and friends.

Note below that only three "wives" stickers were actually aboard Apollo CM-117/Skylab Orbital Workshop Station.

One of my favorite #10 "Wives" cachet covers from Tiziou that he gave me is signed by him and inscribed, "To Ken, A good friend and an expert of the 'little known things' of the U.S. Space Program, who would appreciate this No. 2 of only 3 envelopes that I produced during the SL-3/Skylab II mission, with the emblem I conceived and designed. Ardis Shanks helped for the drawing of the lady (nicknamed "de Vinci's fiancée" by Jack Lousma). Three such stickers flew on board the Skylab space station, July-Sept. 1973.
Very Best, Jacques," and signed in full on the reverse with "02 (out of 3)."

Another decal-affixed #10 cover, cancelled for SL-3's mission here at Kenendy, is signed and inscribed, "Dear Ken: Both the expert and the good friend you are deserve this special decal-cachet cover commemorating the new space endurance record established by the crew of SL-3/Skylab II, flying in space with three stickers from the same unique batch as the one on this envelope. I conceived, designed and drew this emblem as the 'First Astronauts' Wives" emblem, with the help of Ardis Shanks for the drawing of 'de Vinci's fiancée,' (the 'nickname' the crew gave to her during the mission). Very Best from your French Aerospace Journalist and artist friend, Jacques Tiziou."

There is so much more to report about the "wives" patch project that perhaps it would make a great philatelic-side story as well with the limited number of sticker-affixed cachets. I've got lots of info for such a coverage! Hint?

butch wilks
Member

Posts: 190
From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 04-18-2013 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for all the help on this.

I too have a copy of the welcome home cover, and it was only the decal/stickers put in the spacecraft by the backup crew for the wives and not the cards for a bit of fun (love that).

I'd love to see all you have on the patch Ken, please do a bit for us please.

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