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  History Channel Pawn Stars: Space artifacts (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   History Channel Pawn Stars: Space artifacts
Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-19-2011 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The History Channel's Pawn Stars season two episode "Take a Seat," which premiered April 18, included another example of space memorabilia:
Corey and Chumlee have their heads in the clouds when a guy brings in a signed photo of NASA's Gemini launch. With over a dozen astronautical autographs, will the guys take one giant leap to buy this piece of space history or will they forced to abort the mission?

kr4mula
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posted 04-19-2011 01:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw that last night. The guys were clueless about the photo, only recognizing Buzz Aldrin's name. They totally missed Neil Armstrong and called Wally Schirra "Wally Shimma." It was a great piece with all of the signatures (though many pretty faded), including Ed White, and I was curious what, if anything, has happened to it.

wharfrat57
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posted 04-19-2011 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wharfrat57   Click Here to Email wharfrat57     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't believe that the guy took $2000 for that signed Gemini photo, with White, Grissom, Armstrong, and I even saw Collins on there as well, plus the others. But I guess that history just isn't as important to some people.

If I were standing right there beside him as he was trying to sell it, it would have went out the door with me!

history in miniature
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posted 04-19-2011 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for history in miniature   Click Here to Email history in miniature     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not only were the buyers clueless, so was the seller. I say this simply because he claimed to be an Air Force pilot as was his grandfather who had the picture signed. He originally only wanted a thousand dollars for it!

Saturn V
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posted 04-19-2011 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Saturn V     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What is everyone's opinion on what this picture should have sold for?

Assuming the signatures were real, I told the wife at the time we were watching the show that I thought it would be worth in excess of $10,000.

You can view the entire episode online. The picture is presented at about the five minute, 12 second mark.

history in miniature
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posted 04-19-2011 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for history in miniature   Click Here to Email history in miniature     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Makes you wonder about the integrity of the forensic document examiner and his connection with the pawn shop owners, he gave a $5,000 price which I thought was too low.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-19-2011 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The piece was signed by 13 Gemini astronauts (White, Grissom, Schirra and Borman on the left side of the Gemini-Titan; Stafford, Young, Lovell, Collins, Armstrong, Scott, Conrad, Cernan and Aldrin to the right).

It was missing McDivitt, Cooper and Gordon to be complete for all Gemini crew members.

A similar but complete piece (all 16 signatures) was recently appraised for an upcoming auction at $17,500 to $20,000.

The forensic examiner who was brought in, Drew Max with Authentic Autographs Unlimited (AAU), does not buy or sell autographs. He does not identify himself as providing expert appraisals nor does AAU advertise providing appraisals.

I agree that the piece, if offered at a well publicized, respected auction would sell for more than the $4,000 to $5,000 that Max suggested. I would estimate it at $10,000 to $12,000.

At a pawn shop however, I'm not sure if a Gemini-themed collection of signatures -- even with Neil Armstrong -- would go much higher than $6,000 to $7,000. The clientele is not as specialized and most who shop at a pawn shop are looking for a bargain.

charlavb1
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posted 04-19-2011 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for charlavb1   Click Here to Email charlavb1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am disappointed to hear there is no space memorabilia to see in the shop. That seems odd to me considering Rick's professed love of American history.

GACspaceguy
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posted 04-20-2011 05:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just note; it has been my personal experience that reality shows are far from real.

MrSpace86
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posted 04-20-2011 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am surprised no one commented on the condition of this piece. Sure, the signatures are historical, but the condition of the piece itself is pretty bad. I agree that $2000 is rather low, but saying this is a $10,000 piece may be a little much. But then again, when it comes to the big auctions, you never know. Someone might even pay $30,000 if told it has the full crew of Apollo 11!

LM1
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posted 04-20-2011 01:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw this show and noted several misstatements by Corey and the seller. Neither of them seemed to know what the item is. It is autographed by Apollo 1 astronauts Ed White and Gus Grissom, the entire Apollo 11 crew (including Armstrong who never autographs anymore) and many of the moon walkers,

The photo is a little faded, but its current value with the 13 autographs is probably in excess of $10,000. For this value I ask myself - "What would I pay for it if I had the money." My answer is $9,999. This is probably a one of a kind item that will never be duplicated. Its value in five or ten years would be well over $20,000 - particularly taking into consideration that there may not be another American on the moon for over 25 years or more,

It has been mentioned that the seller was "clueless," I agree and I also wonder why he did not take this item to Christie's or Superior or Sotheby's or Swann or any legitimate auction house. Perhaps he was in a hurry for some payment.

I also had the impression that the Pawn Shop was a large shop. Perhaps they use mirrors to make it look bigger. I watch all of the auction and Roadshows on TV for what I will learn. I learn something from every episode. From this episode I learned that I should never bring anything valuable to a pawn shop.

history in miniature
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posted 04-20-2011 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for history in miniature   Click Here to Email history in miniature     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After reading Robert's post I'd like to re-cant my comment about the integrity of the document examiner and his possible connection with the shop. That is too strong a word to use not knowing Mr. Max. I have seen him on many episodes, and, I just thought he should have known the value of an Armstrong autograph.

Dougin SoCA
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posted 04-20-2011 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dougin SoCA   Click Here to Email Dougin SoCA     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm often curious how unbiased the experts they routinely use on the show. Too bad the people who bring things in only go by one of Rick's experts, and not take at least a day or so to get a second, or third opinion. I wonder if for appearing on the show and selling Rick their items, if the seller's don't get an additional fee from the network (they probably at least get some sort of standard on-air appearance fees). Maybe this sweetens the deal enough for them to accept Rick's low-ball offers. The last person I'd want to trust and deal with is their old man.

LM1
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posted 04-20-2011 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree, Max should have known the value of Armstrong's autograph.

Today on FOX News Ben Stein gave recommendations on how to survive in this recession. He had a list that was tailored for very rich people. The first item on the list was "Do not invest in collectibles." He had in mind vintage cars and very expensive art. I disagree with Ben Stein on this matter. Collectibles, particularly items like the Gemini autographed photo, are an excellent investment.

There are many bargains out there for space collectors, apparently some are in pawn shops. Collectibles are an excellent investment, but you must have knowledge of the subject matter and its value. As shown in this thread and many others, Collect Space members are extremely knowledgeable about space memorabilia.

fredtrav
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posted 04-20-2011 02:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First, I wouldn't trust a forensic document examiner to verify any signature. They are even worse than the autograph verification services.

This show was filmed about 8 months ago and the piece went quickly.

LM1
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posted 04-20-2011 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dougin SoCA:
The last person I'd want to trust and deal with is their old man.
I also would not want to deal with the "Old Man". Could he really be 68? He acts like he is 88. Perhaps it is better that we just enjoy the show as is. Knowing who got paid to appear on the show would not make it more entertaining. Also, Max and the other authorities must be paid a fee every time they give an opinion (perhaps $50).

One episode that got my attention involved a map that was actually used at the battle of Iwo Jima in WW II. A young man sold this huge detailed map that was actually on the ground during the battle. I think it was his father's or grand-father's map. He sold it for !,300. This map was priceless for WW II collectors and map collectors. It is probably worth $15,000 to $20,000. My father died in Normandy in WW II. I have only 6 photos of him when he was very young. I would never sell any of these photos or even a button from his coat. How could he sell that map and for so little?

kr4mula
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posted 04-20-2011 02:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LM1:
It has been mentioned that the seller was "clueless," I agree and I also wonder why he did not take this item to Christie's or Superior or Sotheby's or Swann or any legitimate auction house. Perhaps he was in a hurry for some payment.

I think you answered your own question. Most of these people just inherited or found the item and are more interested in making a quick buck than they are at maximizing their profit. Even the pawn guys admit as much by telling the people they could get much more from an auction or whatever, but do they want the hassle (and time) of finding one and going through the whole auction process? They are very clear that they need to make a profit based on the lower end of an expected autction/selling price, so they need to lowball their own offer. Consider also the setting: they're in Vegas. People want money to spend now, not months from now.

tegwilym
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posted 04-20-2011 04:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That shop stole that thing for $2,000! I hope that seller found out how stupid he was agreeing to that price. I would have turned around and walked out the door (with the piece). It did have Armstrong and Wally "Schimma" on there!

Greggy_D
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posted 04-20-2011 06:02 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 GACspaceguy:
Just note; it has been my personal experience that reality shows are far from real.
Agreed. I believe that what we are watching is a scripted work of fiction.

LM1
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posted 04-21-2011 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Greggy_D:
I believe that what we are watching is a scripted work of fiction.
I agree, but they (Pawn Stars, Hardcore Pawn, Auction Hunters, etc.) are very well done and I will continue watching.

fredtrav
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posted 05-03-2011 06:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The History Channel's Pawn Stars had a segment Monday that had a reputed piece of Apollo 13 heat shield.
The Pawn Stars call Houston with a problem when they are presented with a piece of the heat shield from NASA's most heroic flight -- Apollo 13. Can the team complete their mission and return to profit, or will the price send them spinning out of orbit?
I did not see the beginning of the show which told how the man came to be in possession, but he had no paperwork with it. It was a piece encased in lucite.

The expert was the guy from the museum who said it appeared to be a piece of heat shield but without paperwork, he could not say which mission it might have come from.

The seller wanted something like $50 thousand but they would only offer him $2,000, so he walked.

SpaceAholic
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posted 05-03-2011 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another mistaken "expert"...not even Apollo. Based on the brief glimpse it looks like a bisected segment of RV or Mercury heat-shield which could have been either flown or arc-ablation tested.

capoetc
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posted 05-03-2011 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to mention, just because it is in lucite does not necessarily make it authentic...

Saturn V
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posted 05-03-2011 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Saturn V     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
He should have let it go for $2000...

SpaceAholic
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posted 05-03-2011 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ironically, if it is a Project Mercury artifact it's probably worth at least 2K (would be to me).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-03-2011 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For discussion, here are some frames from the episode showing the purported Apollo 13 heat shield:

It is a very attractive piece but I agree with Scott, that it is more likely from Mercury (and is not from Apollo). Compare the sample from the show with this small sample of Mercury ablative material.

Even were it not flown (and without any additional provenance, one could never claim it was), Mercury spacecraft components are rare and this was a particularly well crafted display.

GACspaceguy
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posted 05-03-2011 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks like a test part as the button on top looks like a holding device and not an attachment fastener.

mercsim
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posted 05-03-2011 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mercsim   Click Here to Email mercsim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are some sketches from the Mercury Familiarization Manual. It certainly appears the same. The fastener was grabbed by a sliding (rotating) mechanism that allowed the heat shield to drop during descent to deploy the landing bag. The TV piece would have been a good 'talking' piece to allow engineers to discuss the attachment/deployment method. The fastener looks genuine.

There are also some sketches in the Maintenance Manual. Both can easily be found with a Google search if you are more interested. There are also some shots on the Spacecraft Film set showing the heat shield being installed but I don't remember which one.

GACspaceguy
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posted 05-03-2011 06:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great data! Looks like it could be a Mercury piece.

LM1
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posted 05-04-2011 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Everyone in this thread did their homework for this uninscribed, undocumented item. The Pawn Stars crew should consult collectSPACE before purchasing such items.

Keep in mind that they buy and sell many non-space related items, such as vintage toys, maps, guns, etc. I imagine that members of groups devoted to these and other collectibles are also shouting at the TV when their specialty collectible is not characterized or described or valued correctly.

Paul23
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posted 06-21-2011 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just for any UK based readers who might be interested, the episode with the Apollo 16 flag presentation was shown on the History Channel last night. I think they repeat recent shows at weekends or something so if anyone missed it and wanted to see it there may be another chance.

Paul23
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posted 08-23-2011 05:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was another episode (advertised as a new episode in the UK, no idea when it would have been shown in the US) last night with an Apollo flavour.

A man bought in some photos and negatives from Apollo 17 to see how much he could get for them. I won't say the outcome for anyone who is planning on watching the episode, I assume they will repeat it at some point over the coming week.

LM1
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posted 01-10-2012 04:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The latest episode of Pawn Stars features a Hasbro Buzz Aldrin GI Joe Doll which they purchased for $25 because it was produced relatively recently - 1999.

This doll is listed on eBay several times for $100-150. One person is selling the doll MIB for only $5. Another person is selling only the box. This is a very good move, if you find yourself with only the box for a space-related item - sell the box.

p51
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posted 01-10-2012 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Make no mistake, many of the 'sales' on that show are set up.

I know of two pieces of artillery that were supposedly either sold or an offer made where the owners never sold (or had intentions to sell) at all. I know the owners in both cases, and have heard that many of these 'sales' are actually set up and the sale never actually happens. Therefore I don't trust anything I see on that show.

LM1
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posted 01-11-2012 07:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think that we have previously established above that Pawn Stars is a TV show and that many of the sales are contrived.

I am now reading Rick Harrison's 2011 book "License to Pawn." The store is real and the owners are very real.

I like this show for its entertainment value and I also learn something from every episode. That goes for Storage Wars, Storage Hunters, Antiques Roadshow and the many other similar shows on cable TV. It is a learning experience.

Paul23
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posted 01-17-2012 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul23   Click Here to Email Paul23     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For UK viewers I believe the episode with the purported Apollo 13 piece was broadcast last night. I presume it will be repeated at some point during the week for those that missed it.

xlsteve
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posted 01-24-2012 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Last night, a kid brought in what he claimed was a piece of heat shield from Apollo 11. There's no video yet, but here's a summary of the episode.

Mark Hall-Patton of the Clark County Museum System said that it was not part of Apollo 11, but that it was probably from an Apollo heat shield test. I tend to agree, but I'm a minor leaguer when it comes to this.

I'll update this when video of the episode is available.

GACspaceguy
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posted 01-24-2012 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw the episode. The piece was supposedly found on a beach in Bermuda. I have been around a ton of honeycomb assemblies in my day and this looked like a piece of an aircraft floorboard or a wall panel. It did not look like a spacecraft item at all.

fredtrav
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posted 01-24-2012 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tend to agree that it was not Apollo heat shield material. I think the producers of the show knew that as well, as the Pawn Stars did not even want to make an offer on it. If it was Apollo related it would be worth money regardless, so they saw no money in it.

LM1
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posted 01-25-2012 09:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree. The Pawn Stars knew that it was not Apollo-related and that they could never confirm what it really is. It was the obligation of the seller to obtain more information about this heat shield material - perhaps from other witnesses or from NASA. You are right, if it is Apollo-related at all, it is worth a great deal to collectors. It could be sold in pieces either framed with photos of all the Apollo crews or in acrylic capsules.

Question: If it could be traced to the Apollo Program, how much would you pay for a small sample mounted in an acrylic capsule?


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