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  171208339085: Lockheed Martin ET-122 patch

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Author Topic:   171208339085: Lockheed Martin ET-122 patch
JBoe
Member

Posts: 513
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 01-03-2014 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering if anyone had any additional information or if there were more of these External Tank patches out there that documents each shuttle ET or available. Thanks.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31203
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-03-2014 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The design is based on the artwork applied to External Tank-122's (ET-122) intertank access door.

However, this patch is not original or authentic. The artwork was not produced as a patch. (Note the same seller is offering a knockoff Expedition 43 patch as well.)

JBoe
Member

Posts: 513
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 01-03-2014 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, thanks again as always for providing context and background! I'm surprised that Lockheed Martin hadn't produced a patch for that ET as well as other "historical" missions. It's too bad that a knockoff/unauthorized patch is being sold on eBay.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 539
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 01-05-2014 07:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to the seller he acquired three examples direct from an employee of Lockheed Martin. Two patches with a cut edge, (see example listed on eBay), and one with a fully stitched yellow merrowed edge.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31203
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-05-2014 09:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It has been some time since I was there, but when I was last at the Michoud Assembly Facility (where the external tanks were built), I inquired if a patch had been produced of the ET-122 design and was told no by Lockheed managers responsible for the artwork. I can check with them again.

JBoe
Member

Posts: 513
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 01-05-2014 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would be a great addition to the collection if there was in fact one created/authorized reproduction after the artwork being attached to the ET. I had an opportunity to bid on the patch, unfortunately it's too expensive. I would be interested in an "in" to purchase one for less.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31203
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-05-2014 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What does it say about patch collectors that this patch has been bid up to $40+ without anything more than the seller's word that it is authentic?

Could it be original? Sure. But this seller has come out of dormancy on eBay (no sales since 2002) to offer two desirable patches, both of questionable provenance. What does that say about the likelihood that either are authentic?

If they are in fact not real and were being marketed as tribute or replica patches, it wouldn't be so much an issue, but shouldn't collectors require more proof of authenticity before paying more than the few dollars such patches cost to produce?

JBoe
Member

Posts: 513
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 01-05-2014 02:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
...but shouldn't collectors require more proof of authenticity before paying more than the few dollars such patches cost to produce?
I try to use the knowledge gained from cS and grateful for its members' knowledge, experience, and mostly opinions that are posted on the site my research and desires. But the most important factor is money, I set a limit and 9 times out of 10 I'm no where close to winning "these unique" patches. I'm fully aware when I do bid that there's always that chance of forgery, illegitimate, and not quite true in the description. I guess it's a game, sometimes I find a true treasure and sometimes I get burned.

p51
Member

Posts: 1167
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 01-06-2014 12:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
What does it say about patch collectors that this patch has been bid up to $40+ without anything more than the seller's word that it is authentic?
To me, it says the three things that I was telling someone interviewing me for a magazine article (I'm reasonably well-known in some circles as a collector of specific military-related, non-space items) over the weekend, when asked why I don't collect 'space stuff' in any serious degree when I do for all the other interests I have:
  1. Space collectors suffer from one key problem that many other collecting fields do not; that is, a finite amount of items to grab for, far less than most other popular collecting subjects.

  2. Knowing that #1 is a key issue, other jump in to fill these voids. Hence, the popularity of signed items, in a far greater proportion of collected items being sold than in any other collecting field I'm aware of. So knowing this, other will fill that void with whatever their imagination can come up with. And lacking the resocurces for a beginner collector to look at (that often exists in other collecting field), people will simply buy whatever they can get their hands on.

  3. Many collectors want to be 'the first on my block' to get an item. So, they'll sometimes dive on any item, fake or not, with little regard for it being a genuine item or not. First is better than being well informed, it sometimes seems. I think people scrambling over getting the patch sets for the orbiter moves is a good example, people were paying well into three-figures to be among the first to buy a set of patches which cost less than $40 retail with one phone call. All to just be first.

Liembo
Member

Posts: 186
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 01-06-2014 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's no doubt that the original articles are collectible. Variations are also collectible and both, as originals, as you said, have a finite supply.

Then there are folks like the late Randy Hunt who took it upon themselves to produce either replicas (authorized and unauthorized), fantasy patches (for example, for crews that were proposed that no patches ever existed) or other patches based on concept art that previously existed but never was put to thread (again, authorized and unauthorized). While in no way the same as the real thing, they still have become highly collectible in their own right.

I don't know if they're simply collectible because they are, too, limited and finite, or as items of value in themselves. It's probably a case of both depending on the intrinsic values that drive you to collect.

They could also be a case of "filling the gap" in lieu of the actual article becoming available...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31203
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-06-2014 03:42 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 Liembo:
While in no way the same as the real thing, they still have become highly collectible in their own right.
I would suggest that they are not collectible, regardless of how much any individual pays for one. Forgeries, in my opinion, are not collectible.

We tend to skirt around the issue, calling them fantasy patches, replicas or knockoffs, but what dealers such as Hunt and Foley (among others) produce(d) are forgeries.

Unlike the commemorative patches designed by artists such as Tim Gagnon or the detail-focused replicas by the likes of Chris Spain and Gene Dorr, there is absolutely no care in the patches produced and sold by these dealers. They take artwork — any artwork, regardless of who owns it — and sends it off to be stitched, with no care for production quality or provenance.

But that isn't so much the issue as it is how the patches are sold. They aren't marketed as replicas or tributes, they are sold as "originals" or "rare" and worse yet, "produced for NASA." None of these claims are true.

It is a free and open marketplace, so collectors are free to buy what they want, but doing so does not make these forgeries collectible. It only dilutes and diminishes what are otherwise very fine collections.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 510
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 01-06-2014 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well put, Robert! Thank you.

Just because someone will pay a substantial amount for something does not mean it is collectible. Many fortunes have been lost this way. It just means someone (usually unknowingly) spent a bit of cash for something that may otherwise be worthless. As P.T. Barnum once said, "There's a sucker born every minute!"

JBoe
Member

Posts: 513
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 01-13-2014 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found that both ET-122 and Expedition 43 patches are being listed again. For these two "rare" patches, they sure have shown up quickly after they were listed last week. I'm not sure if this is the same seller.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 539
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 01-14-2014 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes the ET-122 patch is the same patch that was listed last time, by the same seller. The zero feedback winner did not complete the sale and eBay removed that sale.

The ISS-43 Russian patch is a second example from the same seller.

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