posted 01-04-2014 12:39 PM
Bob, Great trio of Apollo 8 crew-signed covers of man's first lunar orbital voyage during the 1968 Christmas holiday season.
As a related sidebar, the top depicted NASA Exchange mission emblem cover signed pre-launch by the Apollo 8 crew, as we know, came from the collection of a prominent public affairs official that headed NASA's Visitors Services Branch at Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo era.
His grandson David was over to my home a few days ago, along with his two young sons, for a visit and appraisal examination of other space memorabilia items once belonging to his grandpa.
It was a wonderful visit and a chance for me to personally meet the grandson of a KSC-NASA public relations pioneer-of-sorts, no longer with us, that I had been fortunate enough to have contact with throughout the 1970/80s.
As Bob pointed out, authentic crew-signed Apollo 8 postal covers are indeed not common among space cover autograph collectors.
In fact, I would go a step further, and declare crew signed covers from Apollo 8 are perhaps the rarest of all the flown Apollo mission crews.
From my personal collecting experiences, though, with Apollo 8 crew signed covers -- first place rarity would be the NASA Exchange emblem variety, next would be a KSC-ONC type, and perhaps third would be a tie between a Harry Anderson Space City Cover Society (SCCS)-printed cover and a cachet cover produced by Bill Ronson's Orbit Covers. Another close tie could possibly be a Carl Swanson SpaceCraft production as well for either launch and/or lunar orbit events.
More common crew-signed for Apollo 8 may be a first day issue of the famous "Earth rise from lunar orbit" 6-cent Apollo 8 postage stamp, with a Manned Spacecraft Center Stamp Club (MSCSC) cachet, that I've seen (and own one or two of) more often than any other commemorative first manned lunar orbit covers "out there."