Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Opinions & Advice
  Vintage Apollo 11 signatures appraisal

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Vintage Apollo 11 signatures appraisal
JatJSC
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 03-13-2010 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JatJSC   Click Here to Email JatJSC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am looking for an opinion on the signatures in the pictures below as to what they may be worth.

A little history on them: These pictures are my mother's who worked for NASA for over 35 years and retired in the 90's. Within the past week, I have just begun to go through her collection of memorabilia and thought I would ask about the Apollo 11 signatures. She also has patches, pins and medallions for the Apollo flights.

I am curious as to what they may be worth, I do not intend to sell them anytime soon and plan to have them framed for her as a gift. I think she will get a kick knowing that what she has stored in a cabinet for 20+ years may be worth something.

I have blurred out her name in the pictures to respect her privacy. Please let me know what you think they may be worth. Thanks.

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2686
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 03-13-2010 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo 11 crew litho is Autopen signed (machine generated signatures) so is only worth a few dollars.

The individual portraits are nice. There's not much demand for personalized Aldrin photos so I'd say that's worth maybe $50-100. The Collins would be worth more, perhaps $150-250. The Armstrong is neat and shows no sign of fading. It may be worth $1500+.

Of course all are probably worth more as family mementos.

I'd be very wary of framing them. Framers who are unaware of the value of the items might mount them in a way that is irreversible. More importantly, displaying photos exposes them to UV light which can rapidly fade the image and the pen ink. Many Armstrong signed photos have signatures that are almost invisible today because they have been put on display for years and the ink has bleached.

An alternative would be to take a high res scan of the items and have prints made from these scans. Mount and frame these and keep the originals safely stored.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1740
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 03-13-2010 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First of all, greetings and welcome to collectSPACE. I hope you will stick around and post on the forum -- it is a very friendly place.

Now, on to business. First of all, the 3 individual signed photos all look authentic, and it is even easier to verify the authenticity since they are also inscribed.

The crew signed litho is actually signed by an autopen machine (not authentic signatures). They are fairly common, although still collectible -- the Apollo 11 crew autopen-signed litho is probably worth around $25-75 or so, give or take a bit.

The individual photos have a few things going for them. First, they are all official NASA photos, and they look like they are in great condition. Second, they are all (presumably) personalized to the same person (your Mom), so they are a matched set. Third, not only are they personalized to the same person, but that person was employed by NASA during Apollo, which makes them more desirable to some collectors.

I am not an expert on valuation, but others on this site are and they can probably give you a better estimate. I would say the signed and inscribed photos would realize at auction:

  • Armstrong: $1300-1500
  • Collins: $200-350
  • Aldrin: $150-200
Sold as a set, I would estimate somewhere in the $2000 - 3000 range (maybe more), particularly if the auction also included some biographical info on your Mom, including what her role was in Project Apollo.

Now, on to the most important part: DO NOT FRAME THESE PHOTOS!!!!!

The reason the photos are in such great shape is because they have not been exposed to light. If you frame them and hang them on a wall, even with the most archival framing methods available, they will fade.

Instead, have high-quality scans made of the photos, print those scans on high-quality photo paper, write on the back of each "scanned photo copy of the original" so no one ever mistakes them for authentic, and then frame the copies. The copies will look just as nice as the originals on the wall, and if they fade you can just print another copy and replace them in the frame.

Finally, place the signed photos into archival quality Mylar sleeves (I use archivalmethods.com) and put them someplace safe and out of the light.

I hope you find this info useful. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

------------------
John Capobianco
Camden DE

JatJSC
New Member

Posts:
From:
Registered:

posted 03-13-2010 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JatJSC   Click Here to Email JatJSC     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks everyone for the fast response and also for the tip on framing and storing of the photos.

If anyone is interested, I can also scan the signed pictures I found of Deke Slayton, Scott Carpenter, Joe Kerwin, John Glenn Jr., Gordon Cooper, Alan Shepard, Walter Schirra, Apollo 15 crew photo and Max Faget.

I only made is about a quarter of the way through her filling cabinet so I expect to fine more memorabilia the next time I am at her house. I have enjoyed researching the history of several of the astronauts and it has also brought back some good memories for my mother.

Please let me know if there is any picture you would like to see.

Daniel Lazecky
Member

Posts: 371
From: Czech Republic-Europe
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 03-13-2010 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel Lazecky   Click Here to Email Daniel Lazecky     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes here agree all also. Individual litohographs - portraits are real. Only one is autopen - common litograph crew Apollo 11.

Very nice things it are, believe, that the they treasure families are also. Very you root.

Daniel

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2686
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 03-13-2010 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I see John was writing his response at the same time I was - it's nice to see our advice is pretty much the same.

Your other photos will all be interesting to see. Some may be Autopens, others might be secretarial signatures (e.g. Shepard).

There are plenty of other items of NASA memorabilia from that time that could be very valuable. Some of the more obvious ones are flown flag awards made to the employee. It's also worth asking if she was ever awarded a Silver Snoopy award. If so the pin and certificate are worth tracking down.

No matter what type of item you dig up you will be able to get free and reliable advice here on rarity and value.

Just be sure you don't sell anything direct to anyone without getting estimates of value from several sources.

Spacefest
Member

Posts: 1101
From: Tucson, AZ USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 03-13-2010 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacefest   Click Here to Email Spacefest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry Chris and John, but these are on old Kodak paper, which will fade, curl, yellow and crack even in the dark. These are nice, but don't expect them to last forever like this. Already the yellows are going, next will be the red dyes. Blue and black are pretty much stable.

And framers don't strike out on their own and mount something. That's extra time and money. If you don't want it mounted, they won't.

I'd frame copies, too. With Photoshop, you can easily get rid of the yellowing, and even put a mustache on Mike!

Kim
AstronautCentral.com

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1740
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 03-13-2010 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What's your point, Kim? That all photographs will, at some point, fade, and that NASA photos will fade more quickly than more modern, high quality ones? Does that fact make the advice less sound?

There is nothing that can be done about the fact that the items are signed on paper that will deteriorate. The point should be that the photos can be preserved as long as possible, I should think.

Finally, as far as value is concerned, even though vintage NASA photos will fade more quickly than modern ones, is it not true that many collectors will pay a premium for signed NASA photos?

If my points are, in fact, correct, then why did you start your post with "sorry"?

I apologize if my response sounds a bit testy, but your post made Chris and I sound like inexperienced collectors. Perhaps you are right, and if so I would appreciate being educated so that next time I will either (a) keep my mouth shut since I obviously don't know what I'm talking about, or (b) have more knowledge so I can give credible advice.

------------------
John Capobianco
Camden DE

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3627
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 03-14-2010 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a collector of vintage photos, I actually enjoy some of the aging that these prints acquire over time. I don't necessarily want prints that look like they were made yesterday.

And while vintage color photos may not be as stable as B&W prints or more modern color photos, many have generally stayed in nice condition after 40-50 years if they were well taken care of. One could easily see them staying in good condition for another 50+ years if one stores them properly.

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 414
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 03-14-2010 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with the above. These prints will not "curl" if kept flat in archival pages, and if these glossies, for example, look this good after almost 50 years, proper care should preserve them for decades to come -- likely long after we have all gone to that great Mission Control Center in the sky...

Spacefest
Member

Posts: 1101
From: Tucson, AZ USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 03-14-2010 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacefest   Click Here to Email Spacefest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
What's your point, Kim?
My points were thus:
  1. Old Kodak paper is extremely unstable in all respects, and no amount of care will stop that, only slow it down. IMPLIED was that modern photographic paper (used by NASA and most others) doesn't have these limitations. YOU implied that keeping them in a binder in the dark would preserve them.

  2. Framing them is not a death sentence. An original Monet is more valuable than most autographs, but I don't know anyone who would not show it off.

  3. Framers don't mount things willy-nilly.
As an aside to Mark Janovec: 50 years isn't even a lifetime!

Kim

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2686
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 03-14-2010 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kim - As a professional framer I guess it's not surprising you took our "don't frame it" advice to as an affront, but I'm sure you realise that as an expert in the framing of space memorabilia you're not really the kind of framer I was warning about.

Believe me when I say I've seen signed photographs that have been glued to mounting boards as a cheap and cheerful way of mounting them so I know it can happen. Most high street framers are more used to dealing with posters and mass-produced prints than valuable signed photos, or Monet's for that matter. That's the kind of service I was warning about.

In fact the right kind of framing can be a very good way of protecting a signed print long-term.

My main concern about framing was the idea that they might end displayed up on a wall somewhere exposed to bright daylight. I'm sure we all agree that in the wrong conditions these wonderful photos and/or signatures could be bleached to invisibility in a just a couple of years. That's what I was trying to avoid by my comments.

As for the stability of old Kodak photos, most 40 year old "A KODAK PAPER" watermarked NASA photos I've seen (and I've owned hundreds) are in very good shape as long as they've been stored properly. I've not seen any major systematic deterioration in the paper or color.

On the other hand NASA prints with the "THIS PAPER MANUFACTURED BY KODAK" watermark (from around 1972 to 1989) very frequently show a distinct pink tone as the dyes have faded with age. You can usually spot these later prints from the color alone.

Spacefest
Member

Posts: 1101
From: Tucson, AZ USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 03-14-2010 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacefest   Click Here to Email Spacefest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are a few framers out there, who still mount with glue or rubber cement. Even NASA used Mucilage to mount flown flags and such.

But I think the world is much more enlightened now. I worry more about the do-it-yourself shops. Some folks cannot believe that it costs more to frame something than the object cost itself, so he 'cheaps out." That's OK for a cheap poster, but ultimately the buyer must make a decision on present, future, personal, or resale value, and spend accordingly.

I just thought admonitions of DON'T FRAME IT! were a little heavy handed. Just go to a reputable framer, and don't do it yourself. You'll just wind up with cuts.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1740
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 03-14-2010 07:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kim, are you really saying that if it is framed it will last just as long, if not longer, than if it is kept in Mylar, flat, and out of direct light?

------------------
John Capobianco
Camden DE

Spacefest
Member

Posts: 1101
From: Tucson, AZ USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 03-14-2010 11:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacefest   Click Here to Email Spacefest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, I'm saying it doesn't matter, unless you want it kept secret.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1740
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 03-15-2010 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess I'll just have to remain perplexed. My advice was to make high quality copies of the signed photos and have those framed, while preserving the originals out of direct light.

Not sure how that is keeping a secret, so I'll just sign off.

Good luck to the OP on however you decide to preserve your Mom's signed photos.

------------------
John Capobianco
Camden DE

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 1964
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 03-15-2010 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John--I have done the same thing. While the vast majority of my better space items are not framed, there are a few displayed on the wall in my studio. For those "on the wall" so-to-speak, I've made high-qaulity color copies of them that could be made and they're still "holding up" well in their frames. Another factor of utilizing the "copied" approach, quite simply, is for theft protection as the orginals along with others are secured in bank security boxes.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2014 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement