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Author Topic:   Apollo 14 moonletter advice
Nina
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posted 12-08-2006 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nina   Click Here to Email Nina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello all!

My name is Nina, I’m 27, live in Vienna, Austria and would be very glad if someone could give me advice on something I found in a box in the basement of my parent’s house. They don’t care much for it (my father’s hobby is flea market, so there are always lots of boxes with stuff and things in their home )..so they gave it to me for maybe selling it if i like.

It is a framed envelope under glass with a stamp “Houston Feb. 26 pm 1971” Tex.”

Apollo 14

Alan Shephard , Stuart A. Roosa, Edgar D. Mitchell

It is signed by Edgar Mitchell and there is a stamp on it “First man on the moon” (http://www.1847usa.com/identify/1960s/C76.jpg) <-this one. It carries the poststamp of the spacecenter Houston.

Then it has a text in red color: “Delayed in quarantine at Lunar Receiving Laboratoy M.S.C. Houston, Texas”

And it has stamp with a number: “No. 52 of 55”

Plus “Carried to the Moon aboard Apollo 14”

Besides the envelope is a paper with german text: “Anlässig einer Briefmarkenauktion, die im September 1977 in San Franciso stattfand, überraschte der Astronaut Edgar Mitchell die Öffentlichkeit mit einer philatelistischen Sensation. Mitchell, zusammen mit Shephard und Roosa im Apolloflug 14, glücklicher Mondfahrer, bot erstmals einen sogenannten Mondbrief. Kurze Zeit später gab Mitchell sein philatelistisches Geheimnis preis. Der Astronaut hatte insgesamt 55 dieser Dokumente bei sich, als er am 31. Januar 1971 zu seinem Mondflug startete.
Wie war das möglich? Die Nasa hatte den drei Astronauten erlaubt, einige persönliche Gegenstände mitzunehmen- Gegenstände die als APK’s, d.h. Vorzugsgepäck der Astronauten, bezeichnet werden. All dieses APK’s mussten vor dem Raketenabschuss genehmigt werden. Sie waren zum persönlichen Gebrauch oder als Geschenk nach dem Flug bestimmt und durften nicht kommerziell ausgewertet werden.
Schon jetzt gelten die Mondbriefe als philatelistische Rarität. Die 55 Briefe sind einzeln nummeriert und mit der offiziellen amerikanischen Gedenkmarkenausgabe „First man on the Moon“ frankiert und enthalten die Poststempel des Raumfahrtzentrums Houston sowie die Originalunterschrift des Astronauten Edgar Mitchell.“

Translation of the german text: “On the occasion of a philatelic auction, which took place in San Francisco, September 1977, the astronaut Edgar Mitchell surprised the public with a philatelistic sensation. Mitchell, along with Shephard and Roosa at Apollo-flight 14, lucky moon-travellers, offered a so called “moon-letter” for the first time. Shortly after that, Mitchell disclosed his philatelistic secret. The astronaut, altogether, carried 55 of this documents, when he started his travel to the moon, 31st of January 1971.
How was that possible? The Nasa allowed the astronauts to take some personal items- items named “APK’s”, that means special feature baggage. All these APK’s had to be approbated before the shoot. They were intended for personal use or as presents after the flight and were not allowed to be used commercially.
Even today (1977), the moon-letters are reckoned as a philatelistic rarity. The 55 letters are numbered individually and postpaid with the official american memorial stamp “First man on the moon” and contain the poststamp of the spacecenter Houston as well as the original signature of Edgar Mitchell.”

Sorry for my poor english, i had to translate many things with a dictionary.

Well..that’s it. I really don’t know how, or even if this document is high-value...at least i hope ...(I’m a poor student ) . ..i found some information on google about a moon-letter from Apollo 15, were they carried 100 letters. The original cost on that was 4850 DM ( ca. 2500$) and on an auction in 1978 on of them was given away for 20.000 DM (10.000$)

Phew...I’m excited and helpless at the same time I’d be very glad if someone of you might comment on it and can help me. Thank you very much for reading.

Greetings from Austria.
Nina

Ps: ( Sadly..I couldn’t upload some photos, because the document is still in my parent’s house- which is in Germany, but I will travel there soon to take it with me )

spaced out
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From: Paris, France
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posted 12-08-2006 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nina,

As I understand it all 55 of these covers were bought by a dealer who never resold them but copies of #52 are seen fairly frequently.

I don't have time to search the forums for a reference right now but I'm sure I read that here somewhere.

It seems likely that the cover you have is a replica/copy of the original.

spaceflori
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From: Germany
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posted 12-08-2006 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Nina,

can only second the above info - these Apollo 14 covers were color facsimiles done by German stamp dealer Sieger (at least I think it was him because they were distributed by him).

Sorry, but the value is possibly $1 or so...like any other color copy.

The original flown covers were all bought by Italian dealer Bolaffi btw.

best regards
Florian

------------------
Flown artifacts, autographs and more !
www.spaceflori.com

Nina
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posted 12-08-2006 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nina   Click Here to Email Nina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your reply guys!

Umm...oh well, would've been too nice

This way, the paper will end up being a nice little decoration on my bathroom wall or something like that

By the way, I called my parents to get some more infos about where my father got it from. And he told me that a friend of him, who sadly had to move to a nursing home, once owned it and when buying, had paid money for it in the 70's because she thought it was an original. Damn, they cheated the nice old lady, not nice!

But i must admit, it's a really good fake, ..and there is one last question i'd like to ask. It doesn't seem to be a simple color print (at least the 52 and the autograph seems to be drawn by hand, you can see the "dents") and i don't really now much about facsimilies or their quality...but Sieger really repainted the autograph manually? Or made people do that for him and then sold them? Is that legal or did he get an authorization?

Anyway..thanks for your effort

Greetings
Nina

[Edited by Nina (December 08, 2006).]

spaceflori
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posted 12-09-2006 01:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hallo Nina,

diese Farbkopien waren/sind wirklich verdammt gut...es sind keine normalen Kopien, sondern vermutlich Offset-Drucke - sehr schwer zu identifizieren.

Vielleicht kannst Du hier ein scan oder ein Foto posten ? Oder schicke mir eine email.

Normalerweise kommen alle geflogenen Belege mit einen original Zertifikat, das nochmals die Echtheit bestätigt, aber wie gesagt, von Apollo 14 wurden bisher meines Wissens keine einzigen geflogenen Belege angeboten - die hat alle Bolaffi.

Viele Gruesse nach Wien
Florian

P.S. for our non German speaking members : These copies are indeed well done, possibly offset prints, not lasercopies. Maybe Nina can post a scan or photo here, I know these covers once I see them.

Richard
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From: Morrisonville, New York USA
Registered: Apr 2009

posted 12-14-2006 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nina,

I would just contact Aurora Auctions to find out if this is real and what an auction estimate is worth. They will do all the legwork for you for free and will get a good price for you. You can find Aurora on this site.

Richard

P.S. Florian, what does Bolaffi translate into? I am not familiar with this word.

[Edited by Richard (December 14, 2006).]

yeknom-ecaps
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From: Northville MI USA
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posted 12-14-2006 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bolaffi is the name of the dealer

Bob M
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posted 12-14-2006 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It almost seems that these expertly done copies of Apollo 14 flown cover #52 were done to deceive. I believe that both the front and back were copied together to look like an actual envelope. A few years ago another "#52" sold on eBay for several thousand dollars and the buyer had difficulty getting his money back - but I believe he did.

BMc

Richard
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From: Morrisonville, New York USA
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posted 12-14-2006 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks. I skimmed through the post so fast that I didn't catch the reference. I just figured that that was some idiom in German that I didn't happen to understand.

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