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  Antiques Roadshow: Astronaut autographs in LA

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Author Topic:   Antiques Roadshow: Astronaut autographs in LA
SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3147
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-24-2014 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astronaut autograph appraisals on this evening's Antiques Roadshow:
Remember the "Vomit Comet?" This guest is a former NASA employee with some out-of-this-world memories to share! Hear more from him after the appraisal of his NASA photo and autograph collection from the 2013 Baton Rouge, LA, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW event.

Philip
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Posts: 4942
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 02-25-2014 04:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for sharing this video showing a truly amazing collection of signed photographs!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28960
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-25-2014 09:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In summary, the appraisals were:
  • Mercury 7 inscribed (by Glenn) NASA B&W glossy: $3,000 to $5,000
  • Gordon Cooper inscribed NASA portrait litho: $500 to $1,000
  • Alan Shepard Apollo 14 red-numbered glossy, unsigned: $200 to $400
  • Marsha Ivins inscribed 1970s photo (before an astronaut): $200 to $400
  • Apollo 11 crew-signed (uninscribed) red numbered glossy: $3,000 to $5,000
  • Apollo 11 crew-inscribed (by Armstrong) NASA glossy: $3,000 to $5,000
  • Multi-signed matted large photo of KC-135: $3,000 to $4,000
The collection, not just the pieces listed above, was valued at $35,000 to $45,000.

chet
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Posts: 1308
From: Beverly Hills, Calif.
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 02-25-2014 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I caught this segment, and nearly hyperventilated when I saw what I thought were thumbtacks stuck in the corners of all the photographs. (I'm pretty sure these were actually small magnets holding this gentleman's photos in place, but it was scary to contemplate the damage done if they were not.)

mjanovec
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Posts: 3624
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 02-25-2014 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I feel the appraiser hit the mark with a couple of the items (like the Mercury Seven photo and the personalized Apollo 11 crew photo), I believe his other appraisals were off-the-mark.

The Gordon Cooper is realistically worth $75-$125 as a personalized piece. The Alan Shepard photo is probably worth $50-$100 as an interesting vintage glossy. The Marsha Ivins, in my opinion, is only worth about $10-$20 as a personalized autograph. The Vomit Comet photo looks like a typical NASA retirement piece, multi-signed on the mat board and personalized. Sadly, these retirement pieces are often worth less than the sum of their parts...and while it contains many desirable signatures (Lovell, Young, Bean, etc.), the total value is probably closer to $500-$1,000 than the $3,000-$4,000 appraisal.

Funnily enough, I think his $3,000-$5,000 appraisal might have been a little low on the un-personalized Apollo 11 lunar surface photo. I'd guess it was closer to $7,000-$10,000 at the right auction.

Some extra video on the Antiques Roadshow website shows a very nice Ed White EVA photo that is un-personalized...as one of the items in the photo album that didn't make it onto the TV segment. I would estimate that as a $1,000-$2,000 piece.

While everyone is bound to have different estimates on these pieces, I feel the Roadshow appraiser set up some very high expectations for Jack. When he decides to sell these photos, I fear he may be somewhat disappointed in how some of them perform...to the point that he may simply want to keep some of them as personal mementos instead of selling them.

moorouge
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Posts: 1688
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 02-25-2014 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have personnal experience of an Antiques Roadshow valuation, albeit in the UK, so I'd be very wary of what the experts say on TV.

My collection of Coronation autographs, many with additional letters, was valued on the show at between £15000 and £10000. Recently, at auction, it failed to reach a reserve of just £3000.

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 1515
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 02-25-2014 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering about some of the photos where he said he dropped them off at the astronaut office and picked them up later. Does anyone think there would be some secretarials amongst the actual signatures?

Great collection and agree with mjanovec on pricing except for me top dollar on the Shepard photo would be about $50, maybe it is just me but the NASA red number (or black numbered) prints are just not that valuable to me.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28960
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-25-2014 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There were only a few astronauts who permitted their secretaries to sign for them (Shepard being the most famous). Others had them use a rubber stamp (Grissom) or the autopen.

(On the flip side, there were guys like Carpenter who insisted on signing every item that would leave the office with his autograph.)

With regards to appraisals, they are only as accurate as the intended market. For example, there was a 2011 photo auction that sold vintage NASA unsigned photos for hundreds and thousands (and tens of thousands) of dollars each. To that market, the photo alone was worth more than any autograph one could apply to it.

Sell the same autograph at Bonhams and Regency and you might end up with very different results. Sell an autograph in a general auction rather than a space-specific auction and the results may equally differ.

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3624
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 02-25-2014 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GACspaceguy:
Does anyone think there would be some secretarials amongst the actual signatures?
While the appraiser didn't note any secretarials in the collection, he did note that that the collection contained some autopens. The Apollo 13 litho displayed in the TV segment did have autopen signatures. I think the appraiser pulled that one to show as an example of an autopenned piece, but that portion of the segment didn't make it into the program. (The fact that no value was stated for the Apollo 13 photo indicates that they knew, at a minimum, that it was an autopenned item.)

Also, while I agree that auction values can vary significantly depending on the auction house and the type of auction in question, I don't think some of those appraised values are unlikely to be met even under the best of circumstances (such as dedicated space auctions from Heritage or RR). Anything is technically possible, of course, but I don't think some of those prices were very realistic.

All times are CT (US)

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