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  John Glenn estate sale (Potomac, March 2018)

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Author Topic:   John Glenn estate sale (Potomac, March 2018)
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 39037
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-28-2018 04:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Greater Washington Estate Services is hosting the estate for sale for the late John Glenn's home in Potomac, Maryland from March 8-11, 2018.
Greater Washington Estate Services is honored to conduct the estate sale of Senator John Glenn. Many items associated with NASA, Marine Corps, and U.S. Senate. Wonderful library.

Beautiful decorative items: Tiffany crystal and porcelain, Baccarat stems, Herend figurines and "Chinese Bouquet" (orange) occassional pieces. Lalique, Moser, Steuben, Val St. Lambert, Beswick, Halcyon Days, etc. Early American furniture and primitives (tinware, pewter, pine lap desk, pie safe, early wooden baker's racks, bowls, candleholders.) Eagle figurine collection. Swarovski animals and birds.

Many, many items associated with flight and aviation. Congressional and presidential items. Lovely women's clothing and accessories. Jewelry. Overflowing kitchen. Menswear. Tools. Christmas. Office supplies and furniture. Memorabilia from foreign travel. Linens. Garage. Teak patio furniture, including Kingsley-Bate like-new folding chairs. Gardening items. Decoys and duck figures/artwork. Practical household items. Historical, interesting and unique throughout... a very special sale!

Though the listing states "many items" associated with NASA, the items pictured are limited to some embroidered shirts, caps, decals and a copy of his memoir. Still, the sale might be of interest to readers in the area.

stsmithva
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Posts: 1850
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 03-08-2018 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are only a few items at this sale that were used by John Glenn during his aviation and Mercury astronaut days. He donated many to Ohio State, and of course most of the rest are still with NASA. But cS readers might be interested to know about one specific item: his Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute wristwatch.

As you can read in this collectSPACE article and a "Worn and Wound" article, this type of watch was the first to be flown in space (besides the stopwatch Glenn wore). Scott Carpenter wore one on Aurora 7. It was damaged by salt water and returned to Breitling for repairs, where it was lost (?) and never returned.

I found several high-res photos of Glenn during his Mercury days wearing a wristwatch, but he was in the habit of wearing them in against his wrist and the face of the watch wasn't visible in any of them. You can see this watch towards the right of a photo of several watches on the sale page linked above. There are hundreds of photos and that one doesn't have a caption, but for ease of searching it is to the right of a photo labeled "metal opium/water pipe." (?!?)

The estate sale company has priced it at $10,000.

navyflyer1127
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Posts: 63
From: Norfolk, VA
Registered: Jan 2012

posted 03-08-2018 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for navyflyer1127   Click Here to Email navyflyer1127     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would love to know the evolution of that price. While I'm not sure if $10,000 is a fair price or not, given it's lack of association with any flights, but I'm surprised that a watch, which was originally listed in a group of "assorted men's watches" wasn't featured up front.

My guess is that the seller had no idea what they had and after some initial interest, set a rather inflated price. It seems that gems are getting harder and harder to find these days with profiteers looking to gouge collectors.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 39037
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-08-2018 11:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another watch of interest might be the LeCoultre watch with each hour marked by a "13." According to the estate, the watch (which is apparently inscribed on its back) was presented to Glenn by McDonnell in light of Friendship 7 being spacecraft 13.

quote:
Originally posted by navyflyer1127:
...with profiteers looking to gouge collectors.
The estate company reached out to me for help identifying and appraising one of the items (a philatelic cover) they found among Glenn's possessions. My impression is that they were taking care to price items fairly, but with a premium based on being owned by Glenn.

MarylandSpace
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posted 03-08-2018 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does one have to attend the sale to see what (asking) prices are?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-08-2018 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To my knowledge, yes. There is no online component to the sale itself.

As an aside, they were expecting over a thousand people to show up and brought in retired police officers and Marines to provide security.

TLIGuy
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Posts: 170
From: Virginia
Registered: Jul 2013

posted 03-08-2018 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TLIGuy   Click Here to Email TLIGuy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When the estate sale was first featured here I looked for any watches that might have been for sale. The addition of the watches appears to have been added later because I do not recall seeing them during my first pass. That said, I was looking to see if it was possible that a specific watch I saw in a photograph of Glenn might be for sale and to my surprise I now see the Breitling Cosmonaut.

Trying to document the watches worn by Glenn is difficult because he wore them with the dial under his wrist as pointed out earlier. While looking through the watch image rich book Spaceshots & Snapshots of Projects Mercury and Gemini, I noticed a watch on Glenn's wrist that I thought could either be a Breitling Cosmonaute or a 2998 Speedmaster. The picture is not great but the coin edge of the bezel and the lug ends are unique enough that it could have been either one. It's also on a black leather strap like the Cosmonaute for sale now. I think I can say with 99% certainty that the watch now for sale is the one he is seen wearing in the image.

For those that have the book the image of Glenn with what I believe to be the Breitling Cosmonaute can be found on page 39. It is the image with Glenn holding the shotgun.

stsmithva
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Posts: 1850
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 03-08-2018 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I decided against taking the day off work to attend. (One factor: buying the item I found most interesting, the Breitling, would have involved signing over the title of the car I drove there.) I'll probably go on Saturday morning (four-day sale), but I'd imagine most things will be gone.

thisismills
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Posts: 95
From: Michigan
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 03-08-2018 02:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for thisismills   Click Here to Email thisismills     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by stsmithva:
He donated many to Ohio State...
For those interested, here are photos from John Glenn's archive at OSU.

More information about the artifact can be found by clicking the "Image Info" button directly below each photo.

My personal favorites are artifacts from MA-6 including the flight used hand-controller, failed thruster mechanism, heatshield segment, and section of Atlas-109D recovered in Africa. I do wish the archive would update their site with higher-resolution photos.

Go Blue.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39037
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-09-2018 02:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
WTOP, a radio news station local to the sale, reports that "just a few hours into the sale, more than 260 people had gotten numbers to get inside." The brief article also includes some photos from the first day.
A baseball hat with the designation NX-01 on it went for $95. That's a hefty price, but Don Eggert, of D.C., thought it was a bargain: It's the registration of the first starship Enterprise, from the prequel series "Star Trek: Enterprise."

"Here I can get something that I appreciate in science fiction," Eggert said, "but it belonged to an astronaut who was amazing."

capoetc
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Posts: 2046
From: Plano TX (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 03-09-2018 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, that didn't take long (not my auction).
Rare, original, historically important NASA contractor display model of the Mercury spacecraft.

Acquired this morning (March 8, 2018) from the ESTATE of former US Senator and NASA Astronaut JOHN GLENN (1921 - 2016). This estate sale is currently being held at the Senator's last residence at 7208 Eagle Ridge Place in Potomac, Maryland (just a few miles outside of Washington, D.C.). The sale is being conducted by Greater Washington Estate Services of Bethesda, Maryland.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 39037
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-09-2018 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few other items apparently from the estate sale now on eBay:

apolloprojeckt
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Posts: 1348
From: arnhem netherlands
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 03-09-2018 12:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for apolloprojeckt   Click Here to Email apolloprojeckt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Strange this are not shipping this outside the US related the other eBay items?

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 3301
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-09-2018 01:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Snoopy tie auction:
This is the only ASTRONAUT SNOOPY NECKTIE around, so far - just TRY to find another one of these...
I wore the same model to meet Story Musgrave and Garrett Reisman at least — two astronaut legends have breathed on it! I'll take half of the guy's $500 asking bid (that's $250), cover shipping. You're getting twice the astronauts for half the price!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39037
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-09-2018 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It seems it was not just eBay sellers and collectors buying items at the sale. Museums were, too. The Associated Press reports:
WTOP-FM reports that within hours of the sale opening, nearly 300 people had gotten numbers to enter the Potomac home. WRC-TV reports some shoppers spent the night outside Glenn's home in preparation for the sale.

Shoppers should expect high prices: WRC-TV reports one of Glenn's flight jackets bought by the National Museum of the Marine Corps was priced at $28,500.

navyflyer1127
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Posts: 63
From: Norfolk, VA
Registered: Jan 2012

posted 03-10-2018 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for navyflyer1127   Click Here to Email navyflyer1127     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone seen any more unique items come from this sale?

I've seen a few interesting items, mostly presentation pieces given to Lt Col Glenn in the mid-60's, pop up on eBay, but surprisingly not too much. The Mercury presentation from McDonnell is a rather nice find though.

Were there any signed items from other astronauts in the estate?

stsmithva
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Posts: 1850
From: Fairfax, VA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 03-10-2018 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I spoke with the person running the sale about a week ago, and she said that what we saw in the pictures was it for available aviation and space items. I reckon it's with OSU, or the Smithsonian, or NASA, or still with the family.

minipci
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Posts: 317
From: London, UK
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 03-12-2018 09:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for minipci     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
CDC Voice Monitor
A quick search on the patent number US40 20567 shows this device is related to "Method and stuttering therapy apparatus."

One of the photos in the eBay advert shows the device is from Communication Development Corp in Roanoke, VA. Mrs Glenn's Wiki page states that she attended the Hollins Communications Research Institute in Roanoke, VA.

My guess is that this device was probably used by Mrs. Glenn, not Col. Glenn.

All times are CT (US)

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