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  Forbes: "The Sky is Falling"

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Author Topic:   Forbes: "The Sky is Falling"
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-11-2004 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The current (December 27, 2004) issue of Forbes Magazine has a short update to their November 2000 article on the market for space memorabilia. Four years ago, the financial news bi-weekly cited the Christie's 1999 auction results as an indication of increased interest in our favorite hobby.

Of course, Christie's results were the exception rather then the rule, a result Forbes says was due in part to the rise of online sites like eBay and this one (in a recent interview, I commented that the understanding of what is and is not rare has become better understood as more collectors are exposed to each other and share their experiences and collections online).

Reporter Ashlea Ebeling still feels the market is "thriving", able to support two new auction houses, Aurora and Swann. The latter confirms its next space auction as proceeding. "Swann's April 2005 sale will feature a navigational chart from Apollo 11, and another toothbrush, this one carried by Gordon Cooper on the Mercury Faith 7 mission."

Click here to read the article (may require registration)

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited December 11, 2004).]


Posts: 258
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-12-2004 01:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is the sky falling? I think not. The things that went for out-of-this-world prices at the Christie's September 1999 sale were not representative of the sale as a whole even then. A careful look at the prices realized at Christie's five years later shows a whole range of things that would sell for as much if not more today. The same is true for the October 1999 Superior sale. As least for collectors, we all are smarter five years later. Most of what I purchased at these sales I am still perfectly happy with. Some might sell for more today and some have declined in value as many astronauts holdings have come on the market. In 1999, who knew that the Apollo astronauts keep all (or almost all) the manuals from the misssions and NASA got none? Who knew that the astronauts flew many flags and other souvenier pieces? In five years, I think I'll be a whole lot more knowledgable about 2004 prices than I am today. But I love the hobby for connecting me with our greatest achievement in the 20th Century.



Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 12-12-2004 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the sky is falling on space collectibles, then we collectors are certainly the ones to benefit from the lower prices. Only the investors will lament the sky falling.

I think the advent of online entities like eBay and CollectSpace have helped our hobby tremendously. Before eBay, in my specialty of space covers, the market for the better material was cornered by a couple of auctioneers who kept cranking up the prices. Now with eBay, everyone is a potential dealer, and the better material surfaces more often and for lower prices. With CS we can share information and provide each other guidance on authenticity.

Here's to the sky falling!!!


Posts: 451
From: Issaquah, WA U.S.A.
Registered: Jun 2002

posted 12-13-2004 07:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jake   Click Here to Email Jake     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here here micropooz! I'm all for low prices on items - which many of us realize are historical and significant. If the market as a whole doesn't think so... hey, their loss....

Jake Schultz - curator,
Newport Way Air Museum (OK, it's just my home)


Posts: 1657
From: Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Registered: May 2004

posted 12-14-2004 03:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for machbusterman   Click Here to Email machbusterman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think that to some extent the sky is falling or as I would say, the bottom is falling out of the market. With the amount of material being signed by the usual suspects at autograph shows and then flooding onto the market one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that now is a very good time to buy. Often items end up on Astro-Auction and eBay at prices lower than even the show signing fees... I mean, how many folks want to pay $165 for Dave Scott so sign something when you can pick them up for around $80 already signed.

The higher end and crew signed items don't really seem to have suffered and are still holding their values but by and large there has definately been a dip in values realised at eBay and AA. IMHO the next boom (no pun intended) in collecting will be with flight test related material, particularly from the X-1 to lifting body era.

As a collector I'm quite happy to get what I can at the prices I'm paying and sometimes you can pick up a real bargain, particularly from the aurora auction. I'd won a lot of autopen vintage signed Mercury lithos (the Glenn was supposed to be the only genuine autograph). As it turns out the Shepard and Carpenter were genuine also... and the Shepard is one of the best examples of his signature I've ever seen.... an absolute classic vintage signature. Those lithos cost me $80 plus 20% buyers premium.... I figure I'm at least $400 up on the whole deal!!

Now is a VERY GOOD time for buyers... particularly if you happen to live in the UK or Europe

Regards, Derek

New Member


posted 12-23-2004 08:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chuckj   Click Here to Email chuckj     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Re: Swann's April 2005 sale will feature a navigational chart from Apollo 11.

How many navigational charts are there from this mission? The information below is from this website.

1) From Swann 2004 sale: 143 Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart used during the first lunar landing, signed and inscribed by Aldrin $29,900.00. Which was described as "a navigational chart showing the descent path of the spacecraft over the Moon's crater-covered surface. The chart was used by Aldrin and crewmate Neil Armstrong as they approached the surface for the first lunar landing"

2) From Swann 2003 sale: 174 FLOWN Apollo XI navigational chart. 22,000

And now there is *another* navigational chart?!



Posts: 258
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-24-2004 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

There were several navigation charts (maps) used on LM Eagle. Swann lot 143 was a descent chart used in the landing. Lot 174 was a ascent chart used when it left the moon to rendevous with the CM. I guess Eagle carried five or six descent charts and at least three or four ascent charts. There were other charts carried on the LM, but the real prize would be the lunar surface map(s) intended to guide their surface exploration. Of course Eagle over shot its expected landing site so I don't know if their surface maps covered the actual landing site. As I recall it took a quite a while to determine exactly where Eagle landed.


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