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  Help getting started collecting space memorabilia

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Author Topic:   Help getting started collecting space memorabilia
UNCJibble
New Member

Posts: 3
From: Garner, NC
Registered: May 2014

posted 05-12-2014 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for UNCJibble   Click Here to Email UNCJibble     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So I am completely new here, but I am very interested in starting a space collection. Any advice for someone new to this? I found out about space memorabilia from an email about the Heritage auction last year, but everything went way over my budget. I'm more interested in flown items than autographs or covers, but don't have a huge budget at this point in my life, so maybe the smaller things like kapton or heat shield pieces.

I looked at this year's Heritage auction, and it seems like they are higher priced than other auction sites, or some of the sites that seem to sell smaller pieces of items in acrylic. My question is how do you know if these items are legit or not? Are there some recommended sites/dealers that everyone on these boards trusts? Is there anywhere that is known to be a scam?

Any other advise on this hobby in general would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

rgarner
Member

Posts: 485
From: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 05-12-2014 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rgarner   Click Here to Email rgarner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi and welcome to cS. I have just sent you an email in a bid to get you started in what is the best collectors hobby there is (I'm sure many people here will vouch for that statement!).

The auctions can be quite expensive, but mostly because they are intended for more seasoned collectors. There are a few good places to get some cheap memorabilia, which still holds a lot of historical value (re my email). You will also find a horde of collectors here willing to help.

All the best in your new hobby!

kosmo
Member

Posts: 247
From:
Registered: Sep 2001

posted 05-12-2014 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kosmo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So it sounds, that like most of us, you don't have deep pockets. Collect what you like, it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Your never going to be able to collect everything, so pick an area of collecting that you can be passionate about, become the expert and then become a resource for the rest of us.

SpaceAholic
Member

Posts: 3284
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-12-2014 05:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Be careful when buying lucites/acrylics...there are lots of folks fragmenting/ cannibalizing intact artifacts to cater to collectors such as yourself. Recommend review the following threads to get acquainted with examples of various "first generation" lucites:

rgarner
Member

Posts: 485
From: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 05-12-2014 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rgarner   Click Here to Email rgarner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also, in terms of legitimate sellers, you have a few good sites when it comes to flown items. Mine (thespacecollective.com) and a chap called Florian (spaceflori). There are more but others mostly sell autographs and maybe a handful of flown items.

Joel Katzowitz
Member

Posts: 462
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 05-12-2014 07:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Kosmo's advice is right on. Find your passion and ride it as far as you can. Along those same lines, I found that setting a collecting goal and taking it to completion is the most satisfying.

In my case, I was always intrigued with Project Mercury. I eventually set a goal to obtain a flown item from each of the 6 Mercury flights. After I achieved that milestone I figured why not take it further and go for a flown item from each of the Mercury astronaut's collective missions. That totals 13 flights. It took me about 18 years but it was totally worth it.

Good luck.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2613
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-12-2014 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For flown items - though they are covers or come with covers - nothing can beat the inexpensiveness of the STS-8 cover and the STS-68 stamp.

onesmallstep
Member

Posts: 755
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 05-13-2014 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to cS! You'll find a lot of people here who are willing to help with advice — and offer some of their items for sale, too. I've been collecting basically since I started following the US space program in 1968 with Apollo 8. I started with inexpensive ephemera: magazines, newspapers, paperbacks, lithos and mission reports from NASA, etc. But with the start of shuttle, I decided to branch out to collect event covers, backtracking to get launch/recovery items since Mercury. At present, I have 70% of shuttle missions.

The flown items are a good start, with reasonable prices for a beginner. Many can be purchased right here on cS; I've had very good dealings with the sellers. You might try to branch out to the medallions (MFA/SFA/commemorative) that have 'flown metal' in them; most can be had for under $100 here and on eBay. I recently started collecting them. Whatever your interest, I'm sure you'll enjoy the research and history behind the items you collect as much as putting them on display or in an album. Happy collecting!

Tykeanaut
Member

Posts: 1919
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 05-13-2014 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome! I can also recommend David Bryant at The Space Station for very reasonably priced flown items.

fredtrav
Member

Posts: 1159
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 05-13-2014 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi and welcome. It is a great hobby but addictive. Some good sources to look for items:

Lunar Legacies. Donnis Willis is a great person to work with and you can trust him. He also is running an auction a couple of times a year. He has different and often less expensive items than the big auction houses.

Also look on cS for Ken Havekotte. You can trust whatever he has. Send him an e-mail with what you are looking for. Chances are he has it (and several more).

Farthest Reaches has some good stuff but can be expensive. Has items direct from the astronauts. Also has signed books if you are interested.

UNCJibble
New Member

Posts: 3
From: Garner, NC
Registered: May 2014

posted 05-15-2014 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for UNCJibble   Click Here to Email UNCJibble     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I'm going to spend some time doing more research (and saving up some more!) so that I have a better knowledge base! I really like the idea of the flown shuttle stamp that can be had on the cheap, that might be a nice purchase until I learn more!

Gonzo
Member

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

posted 05-15-2014 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have you considered patches?

You said you're more interested in flown items, but a lot of patches have been flown. I've been collecting patches off/on for 25 years and there's no way to get them all! And each one has a story to tell about the mission they represent.

Plus, for the most part, they're relatively inexpensive. I don't know if you're interested in them, but they can be just as fascinating and educational to collect (and frustrating too!).

Just a suggestion...

JBoe
Member

Posts: 484
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 05-15-2014 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UNCJibble, welcome to the group! I would leverage the advice of the "seasoned" collectors as they have great knowledge and experience. I'm a novice compared to most cS'ers. However I would offer this, figure out what you are interested in collecting or a specific program (Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Shuttle). My interest is geared to the shuttle.

For space hardware I would recommend shooting Ken Havekotte an email. The other source is watching eBay. Of course, you have to be careful and do research on the item. I find a few sellers that I use really work with you and can lower prices or portion bulk items.

Another method is contacting specific contracted suppliers. Be inquisitive, write letters and emails! A few years ago, for example, I contacted David Clark and received a large swatch of the orange fabric from the shuttle suit along with a commemorative patch.

Let me know if you have any questions. I'm always glad to help!

Apollo-Soyuz
Member

Posts: 936
From: Shady Side, Md
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 05-15-2014 06:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UNCJibble- Shoot me an email with your mailing address as I want to send you some of my duplicate space autographs and welcome to cS.

------------------
John Macco
Space Unit #1457

schnappsicle
Member

Posts: 229
From: Houston, TX, USA
Registered: Jan 2012

posted 05-15-2014 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for schnappsicle   Click Here to Email schnappsicle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The best thing you can do is learn the market. Study the prices for a few months or more before you buy anything. Once you know the price of something you want, you can wait and maybe find it for a bargain price. This site has a "Buy, Sell & Trade" section where I've found great things at around half the market price. The one thing you don't want to do is overpay for something. Sometimes your best bet is to buy from one of the other sites, as suggested by some of the other members here. You'll have to pay full market value for the item, but at least you can be assured that the item is legit. While that may seem like you're paying sticker price for a new car, sometimes that really is the best you can do. While nothing is guaranteed, I've seen prices for things skyrocket over the last 10 years that I've been following the hobby. Ebay can also be a good source if you know the seller. The only things I buy from Ebay are the things that CS members have put up for sale. I don't trust 99% of the stuff I find there.

This hobby is addictive. Years ago, I set a goal to collect an autographed photo from each of the 12 moonwalkers. After finding 2 CMP autographs in my collection from the 70's, I decided to collect those too. When I finished collecting those, I decided to collect one photo from each of the Mercury and Gemini missions. In the last year, I've been buying up autographed Shuttle crew photos. I have nearly 200 autographed photos in my collection.

I've been lucky. Most of the photos I bought have gone up considerably in price since I purchased them. Yesterday for example, I saw a Buzz Aldrin "Magnificent Desolation" panorama sell at auction for $2100, and it was signed with a wide pen that seemed to skip. 3 years ago, I had Aldrin sign the exact same pan with the same quote and it only cost me $650. My autgoraph is perfect with a fine pen and no skipping. If I really wanted to, I'm sure I could sell some of my extras and buy the uninscribed Armstrong or Mercury 7 photo I've always wanted.

I realize you're not collecting photos, but I'm sure that some lessons I learned apply to your situation in the flown items market. Things that seem expensive today may very well be cheap by tomorrow's standards, so collect what you can and don't get too attached to any of your purchases. You might have to sell some of them one day to get that big ticket item you've always wanted.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 2036
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 05-15-2014 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"UNCJibble" -- Let me also extend a big welcome to the exciting world of space collecting, a long-time passion of mine that started with the Gemini program when I was a young boy, and continues on today in many different ways! My thanks also to Fred and "JBoe" for their kind remarks above as both of you are so kind to remember and recommend me.

To help get you started, "UNCJibble," I would be more than happy to mail you a complimentary "space care package" so-to-speak, and with no strings attached whatsoever.

I'll include in the shipment one or more space item(s) from each major collecting category; patch, sticker, badge, photo, a genuine autograph piece, a flown artifact of some kind, postal cover, space medallion, a launch pad relic, and so on.

From one aerospace enthusiast to another, "UNCJibble," it would be a pleasure to hear from you (an email would be best), and again, welcome to the hobby!

SpaceyInMN
Member

Posts: 84
From: Andover, MN
Registered: Dec 2013

posted 05-15-2014 09:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceyInMN   Click Here to Email SpaceyInMN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UNCJibble, welcome from Minnesota! I, as well, am a recent cS addict, er, I mean, member. There's no other site I check with the frequency that I check cS. Enjoy your time here, and please, read as much as you can from the experts on this site (of which, I'm clearly not included).

Ken, I've emailed you a couple times in the past few months from my Yahoo address with no response. I am suspicious that my Yahoo email is getting filtered by your SPAM software. I will email you from spaceyinmn -at- gmail -dot- com. If you can please keep an eye out for that address, I would appreciate it. — Jason

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 2036
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 05-16-2014 04:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For Jason, good morning, and sorry for the trouble you're having in reaching me via email. Please try again using my regular email address (khavekotte@cfl.rr.com) and I will make sure to keep an eye out for it. If I don't receive an email from you within the next few days, I'll email you using the above email link from your recent posting.

Shuttle Endeavour
Member

Posts: 234
From:
Registered: Aug 2013

posted 05-16-2014 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttle Endeavour   Click Here to Email Shuttle Endeavour     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, I am also having the same problem with e-mail.

JBoe
Member

Posts: 484
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 05-16-2014 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, I've too had the same issues and even inquired with Robert to see if you went off grid.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 2036
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 05-16-2014 08:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First, for Alex, I do have your last two emails and will answer them soon. My apologies Alex in not getting back to you sooner. I was planning to, however, things got behind me a bit during the last couple weeks.

JBoe, Jason & UNCJibble, While searching for an email of yours within the last few weeks (also in my SPAM software), I did not come across any. It could be in getting so many emails a week (sometimes easily over a hundred or more), it may had been missed and my sincere apologies for doing so if such was the case.

I am having a computer specialist friend of mine help to re-structure my SPAM software in an effort to troubleshoot why some emails may not be getting to me properly.

Meanwhile, if I can ask a favor of UNCJibble, Jason and JBoe (along with anyone else out there in cS-land), if you don't mind doing so, please do email me again (khavekotte@cfl.rr.com) as a test-like email delivery. You can even just email "Test to Ken" so that we can see if the emails are reaching me or not. Your patience with me is much appreciated. Thanks guys!

Shuttle Endeavour
Member

Posts: 234
From:
Registered: Aug 2013

posted 05-16-2014 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttle Endeavour   Click Here to Email Shuttle Endeavour     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Ken. I just wanted to make sure you are getting them. Take your time to respond.

SpaceyInMN
Member

Posts: 84
From: Andover, MN
Registered: Dec 2013

posted 05-16-2014 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceyInMN   Click Here to Email SpaceyInMN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Ken. I just sent you a test message from my Yahoo account with "Test to Ken" in the subject field. If you don't get that, I'll send one from my gmail account mentioned in this thread.

JBoe
Member

Posts: 484
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 05-17-2014 05:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, I've sent you a test email as well. Let me know if you don't see it. Thanks.

Ken Havekotte
Member

Posts: 2036
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 05-17-2014 06:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Emails sent to all involved as it now looks like the issue has been resolved. Thanks for your patience with me and I look forward to hearing from everyone again. You cS-guys are the best!

One Big Monkey
Member

Posts: 63
From: West Yorkshire, UK
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 05-17-2014 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for One Big Monkey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Getting back on topic, I'm new to the whole space memorabilia thing as well, and it's both a fascinating and frustrating hobby. Frustrating because I don't have the money to buy the things I's really like! Fascinating because of the things that you can get hold of that I never knew existed.

I like Apollo ephemera - newspapers and magazines make fascinating reading. I also have a sneaking passion for the kitsch. Who can resist an Apollo 15 spoon or Apollo 11 salt and pepper pot! I've almost completed by collection of Wheater carnival glass decanters (just Apollo 12 and the Skylab ones to go!) and am looking at other glass and pottery souvenirs. My wife despairs.

My absolute favourite find is my Apollo 17 Preliminary Science Report, which one day I will get signed.

I just wish more UK suppliers were around for this kind of stuff - there are so many really nice items in the US but the postage makes things too expensive. Meanwhile can all you other guys get off eBay please? I'm running out of cash!

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