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  Missing: Gemini print signed by 16 astronauts

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Author Topic:   Missing: Gemini print signed by 16 astronauts
spkjb
Member

Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 10-10-2011 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In June 2011 I won the following lot at a space auction:

"Gemini Spacecraft" Rare McDonnell Lithograph Signed by all Sixteen Gemini Astronauts. 17"x11"

The item became missing before it could be delivered to me. I am seeking assistance in locating the item. If anyone has any information regarding this item or it's location, it would be greatly appreciated.

email to: jaba8bell@gmail.com

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3635
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 10-11-2011 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did the auction house lose it before they shipped it? Or was it lost during shipment?

I would hate to think of an auction house carelessly losing such a magnificent (and rare) piece.

spkjb
Member

Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 10-11-2011 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Heritage Auctions CEO Steve Ivy told me in an email that the item was "accidentally discarded" in Tucson Az. before being shipped back to Dallas. Mr. Ivy has failed to explain what accidentally discarded means and the circumstances of how the item became missing.

bunnkwio
Member

Posts: 50
From: Woodridge, IL USA
Registered: Jul 2008

posted 10-11-2011 10:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bunnkwio   Click Here to Email bunnkwio     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Accidentally discarded"? I sure hope, since you were the winning bidder, that you received full refund of your payment, including all buyers premiums.

As for the consignor, is there some sort of insurance for this? The auction house has to be accountable for this if it was in their possession.

spkjb
Member

Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 10-12-2011 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received a full refund, including buyer's premium. According to Heritage, the consignor was paid based on the on the consignment agreement and my hammer price.

The applicable deductible eroded the insurance based on the price; thus no claim was made. I would much rather have my item than the refund!

From the beginning, Heritage was not forthcoming. Instead of telling me that the item was missing, they told me the item would be shipped separately from my other items and that Heritage would pay for the shipping charges. I accepted that. It was not until five days later after emails and telephone calls from me that Heritage told me the item was missing.

benguttery
Member

Posts: 542
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 10-12-2011 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The loss of that great item is the worst part.

spkjb
Member

Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 10-12-2011 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are so CORRECT.

My family can not fathom my fretting over this lost item. I guess only we (not trekkies, gotta be a word for us — space junkies? — no, not like that either) would understand. Anyhow, enough levity; trying to make light of a very distasteful experience.

fredtrav
Member

Posts: 1123
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 10-12-2011 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, a refund doesn't cover the loss. If you did not want the piece you would not have bid on it. It's not like you can run down to the store and pick up another one. Where is the landfill in Tucson?

spkjb
Member

Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 10-12-2011 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would almost feel good if this lithograph were in a landfill vs. elsewhere.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30069
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-12-2011 08:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know the consignor and the original owner of this piece (the latter being the person who had this piece originally signed). I know it doesn't help with the loss, but the consignor is putting the funds the auction generated to very good use.

This is a unique enough piece that if it is anywhere but a landfill, it has a very good chance of eventually turning back up. We had another member lose a multi-signed book at another event only to have it re-appear online more than a year later when it was reunited with its rightful owner.

Greggy_D
Member

Posts: 780
From: Michigan
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 10-12-2011 08:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spkjb:
the item was "accidentally discarded"
How in the heck can that happen? A $7k+ item? Just doesn't make any sense. I'm truly sorry that you went through these chain of events. I couldn't even imagine, especially if a piece meant as much to me as this did to you.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30069
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-12-2011 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greggy_D:
How in the heck can that happen?
If I recall correctly, Heritage moved all of its lots from this auction to display at Spacefest and then moved them back to Dallas for shipping to the auction winners. It is not unthinkable how an item could get caught up in packaging as part of that process and lost. It doesn't excuse the loss but it does offer a scenario where it could happen.

spkjb
Member

Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 10-13-2011 05:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
This is a unique enough piece that if it is anywhere but a landfill, it has a very good chance of eventually turning back up.
Robert, thank you for the words of encouragement. The following may be a bit long but relevant to your belief of my item eventually turning back up.

My hopes have diminished with time and especially after an email from Mr. S. Ivy, CEO of Heritage. In late June of this year when it became obvious that I was unlikely to receive possession of my lot, I telephoned Mr. T. Slater, director of the Heritage June 3, 2011 space auction to express my dismay that Heritage had lost this "featured" item. He told me that "it was not lost permanently." He also stated "permanent loss of an item like this had never happened before." He assured me that "it would turn up." Mr. Slater's assurances worked for me on that day and I felt much better about chances of recovery. He even told me that if I had anxiety about the item, to call him.

At the auction, Mr. Slater had commented to me "that I had made a great purchase, maybe the best of the auction." I am not sure why he said this. I felt it a great buy since it is a magnificent piece of history and also that financially my purchase price was significantly under the estimated hammer price given prior to the auction ($10,00-$20,000).

After many emails, telephone calls, letters and a visit by me to Heritage Corp. in Dallas, the item is still lost.

The main reason I have little hope of recovery is Mr. Ivy's email to me on 8-1-2011 when he stated "There is no continuing search for lot #41024. There is no tracking status. I can't provide any additional information beyond the fact that we believe it was accidentally discarded."

My best hope for locating this lot appears to lie with the space collecting community and a site like collectSPACE to relate circumstances to fellow collectors in hopes of discovering something related to #41024.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30069
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-13-2011 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spkjb:
My best hope for locating this lot appears to lie with the space collecting community and a site like collectSPACE to relate circumstances to fellow collectors in hopes of discovering something related to #41024.
I think it should be pointed out, unless you have a specific agreement with Heritage, that should the piece be found, you may no longer have any claim to it. Heritage refunded your payment and paid the consignor, so at this point, the item belongs to Heritage.

Should it ever be found, they of course would have the option of re-offering it to you but as you've already accepted a refund, I don't believe they would be under any obligation to do so.

spkjb
Member

Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 10-13-2011 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
unless you have a specific agreement with Heritage
Heritage has given me first right of refusal at my hammer price if the item turns up.

David Carey
Member

Posts: 386
From:
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 10-14-2011 09:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Quite a loss along several dimensions and I hope Robert's thought that it may yet surface is correct.

spkjb
Member

Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 12-05-2011 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have decided to offer a reward for item #41024 which I won in the bidding process at auction #6052 held in Tucson, Az. on 6/3/11.

The item is a Rare McDonnell Lithograph "Gemini Spacecraft", signed by all 16 Gemini astronauts. The item was accidentally discarded as conveyed to me by Heritage Auction's CEO Steve Ivy.

This reward shall be presented to anyone who contacts me with information leading to discovery of the item's location and my receiving physical possession of this item. If you have this information, please contact me with your email. Our correspondence shall be strictly confidential.

Though you may have no direct knowledge of this missing lot, please pass this reward information onto associates. If I recover the item, you shall also be compensated for your help.

MarylandSpace
Member

Posts: 1055
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-05-2011 08:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope that the Gemini print turns up for you.

Mark B
Member

Posts: 195
From: Australia
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 12-09-2011 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow that's a nice piece, it will turn up down the track, it's too unique.

astrobock
Member

Posts: 78
From: WV, USA
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 12-19-2013 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astrobock     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This looks like a copy of the missing Gemini 6 signed Giclee print.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30069
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-19-2013 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It does appear to be a copy, though I suspect the scan was obtained from Heritage's online auction catalog rather than having access to the original.

spkjb
Member

Posts: 119
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 12-20-2013 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by astrobock:
This looks like a copy of the missing Gemini 6 signed Giclee print.
astrobock and Robert, Thank you for keeping this story alive. I do not believe the original print is in a land-fill. Seeing the eBay re-print still makes me very sad that 2.5 years ago I owned the original for a few days; and that before I took possession, it was "accidentally discarded."

fredtrav
Member

Posts: 1123
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 12-20-2013 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have you tried to contact the seller of the giclee? Tell him you are interested in the item but would like some more information, is he the owner of the original and when the print was made and see what he says.

Never mind the above. I see where the seller states the he does not have the original.

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