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  Aurora Galleries Oct. 2006 auction (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Aurora Galleries Oct. 2006 auction
VCampbell
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posted 10-07-2006 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for VCampbell   Click Here to Email VCampbell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fellow collectors:

Aurora's full color catalogs for Day 1 and 2 of our October 21 & 22, 2006 Space & Aviation Memorabilia Sale are now posted on our website, on the "Catalogs" page.

With over 2200 lots in this sale, there is a wide selection for the collector. Some of the highlights of Day 1 include:

  • Photograph signed by all 7 Mercury Astronauts (Lot 8)
  • Ed White signed photographs (Lots 165 and 166)
  • Neil Armstrong and David Scott signed Gemini 8 photograph (Lot 185)
  • Flown Gemini 11 Fliteline Gold Medallion (Lot 198)
  • Replica Apollo A7L Spacesuit (Lot 232)
  • Grumman Lunar Module Contractor's Model (Lot 425)
  • Vintage Lunar Module Toy (Lot 476)
  • Apollo 1 Crew Signed Photographs (Lots 486, 487, 488)
  • Apollo 9 Flown Flag (Lot 547) and Patch (548) from David Scott's Collection
  • Apollo 11 Flown Flag from Michael Collins' Collection (Lot 595)
  • Neil Armstrong's training flight suit pants (Lot 599)
  • Apollo 11 crew signed photographs (Lots 610 to 613)
  • Neil Armstrong signed items (Lots 614 - 624)
  • Apollo 12 Flown Flag (Lot 707) and Checklist (Lot 707A)
  • Apollo 13 Flown Shim (Lot 749)
  • Apollo 14 Flown Coin (Lot 789)
  • Apollo 15 Jim Irwin's Flown Bio Belt (Lot 823) and Harness (Lot 824)
  • Apollo 15 Flown Cover (Lot 827) and Flags (Lots 828-834)
  • Apollo 16 Flown Robbins Medallion (Lot 904)
  • Apollo 17 crew mission patches (Lots 945, 946 and 948)
  • Photograph signed by ASTP prime and backup crews (Lot 995)
Highlights for Day 2 include:
  • US flags flown on numerous Shuttle missions, including STS 1 (Lot 1302), STS 2 (Lot 1312A) and STS 3 (Lot 1314)
  • STS 51L crew autographs (Lots 1430 - 1435)
  • Russian rocket pioneer Tsiolkovsky two page manuscript (Lot 1539)
  • Flown BOR 5 spacecraft (1/8th scale Buran flight test model) (Lot 1559)
  • Flown Sokol gloves (Lot 1560)
  • Covers from the personal collection of Valery Kubasov flown aboard Soyuz 36 (Lots 1682 and 1683)
  • Incredible collection of rare Russian pins (Lots 1841 - 1853)
  • Autographs of all 14 Chinese taikonauts (Lots 1855 to 1857)
  • Cover flown aboard Chinese Shenzhou 5 (Lot 1863)
  • M&M flown aboard SpaceShipOne (Lot 1868)
  • Cover flown by Lindbergh (Lot 1933) and his autograph (Lot 1935)
  • Complete SR 71 pressure suit (Lot 1977)
  • Incredible collection of autographs of aviation notables (Lot 2032)
  • Autographs of WWII Medal of Honor recipients (Lots 2160 - 2168)
  • Norden bombsight (Lot 2169)
My thanks again to all our consignors and we look forward to our buyers' participation in our auction.

Victoria Campbell
CEO Aurora

Ken Havekotte
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posted 10-08-2006 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Once again, at the request of a few collectors, here are some observations about some of the current Aurora auction lots. I've only had time to examine material from mostly the first section of the auction on-line catalog, however, this is by far not a complete evaluation as many lots not listed below (i.e. Armstrong, etc.) would need a better and/or closer examination. But here are a few that I am certain about:
  • #8 -- A classic early Shepard secretarial, but can't see the other Mercury autographs too well from the on-line scans.
  • #165 -- Perhaps some would disagree, but never did like this White as I've seen this lot before.
  • #172 -- Auotpens of the GT-5 crew.
  • #488 -- Chaffee is a "no-go" for me here.
  • #539 -- Not Borman, but Anders, which I don't like here anyway.
  • #585 -- All Apollo 10 crew forgeries!
  • #611 -- All Apollo 11 crew forgeries!
  • #612 -- Perhaps "master" crew forgeries?
  • #619 -- Armstrong fake!
  • #621 -- Another Armstrong fake!
  • #724 -- Autopen Gordon with his full name
  • #760 -- Lovell forgery.
  • #777 -- Autopen of Haise (his full name).
  • #877 -- Autopen of Irwin.
  • #917 -- Autopen of Mattingly.

Leon Ford
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posted 10-08-2006 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leon Ford   Click Here to Email Leon Ford     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am just wondering if anyone from Aurora looks at these autographs BEFORE they put them up for auction.

Could someone from Aurora give us a description of what they do to make sure the items they are offering are real autographs. Do you have any "autograph experts" that work for your auction house? At the very least, you folks sold an autopen guide at one time. Does anyone look at one of these guides and compare them to the signatures you are selling as real autographs?

Any information would be appreciated.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 10-08-2006 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are a few others from Section 1 that I forgot to mention in my prior post:
  • #163 -- McDivitt Autopen (don't be fooled by this one).
  • #197 -- Williams; Need to see a better scan.
  • #542 -- Anders; A better scan is needed.
  • #614 -- Armstrong forgery.

Bob M
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posted 10-08-2006 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It amazes and disappoints me how autopens continue to plague our hobby. Forgeries are one thing, and well-done forgeries can be missed and be passed along, but autopens, especially ones that are so common and seen so often, should be spotted and identified by just about anyone with some experience and with the help of an autopen guide.

If autopens can't be identified and eliminated, what does that indicate about more difficult to identify forgeries and questionable signatures?

mjanovec
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posted 10-08-2006 06:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here was an earlier thread about Lot 165 from last Spring. If nothing else, it gives people a closer look at what they might getting if they decide to bid on it. As Ken says, it has some problems...seems to be an in-betweener. Could be real, could be a forgery.

Lot 488 - I thought this one looked "off" to me. If Chaffee is a "no go" then I would think Ed White is a no-go too. Both appear to be signed with the same pen.

Lot 804 - Roosa autopen? Hard to tell from the small scan, but I don't recall Roosa ever signing anything at that angle...but have seen plenty of autopens placed like that.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 10-08-2006 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few more observations, including Section 2, that I wanted to add:
  • #488 -- In addition to Chaffee, as mentioned above, the other signatures are questionable and need a better examination of.
  • #1035 -- The signed cover lot is not described properly, however, the Stafford is an Autopen.
  • #1066 -- A bigger scan is needed of the special wives' patch for Skylab 3.
  • #1073 -- From what I can see from the small catalog illustration, looks to be a Lousma Autopen, but a better scan would help.
  • #1350 -- A Shaw Autopen.
  • #1399 -- Jemison; Needs a better scan.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 10-08-2006 07:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lot #804 could very well be a Roosa autopen, however, certainly a larger scan would help determine for sure if the signed portrait is an Autopen or not.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-08-2006 07:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is Lot 944, which is described as "extremely rare" Apollo 17 alternate patches, vintage or modern production fantasy emblems?

Based only on what I have read by McCall, I was under the impression that these alternate designs were never advanced beyond the sketches.

Anyone know differently?

fabfivefreddy
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posted 10-08-2006 08:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With all the knowledgeable people here, why would Aurora avoid asking for some help?

This is a sad story for a space auction and hurts our field of collecting. I know many frustrated people.

benguttery
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posted 10-08-2006 08:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could some of you patch people, clue me on a couple items in the upcoming Aurora auction:
  1. Lot: 604 and 753 - Oversize Commemorative Patches. What is the story on these?

  2. Lot: 1122 - Mach 25 Patches. Original patches?

  3. Walt Salyer patches - Don't a lot of these look like factory seconds?

Ken Havekotte
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posted 10-08-2006 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Eagle One Aerospace, a patch manufacturing company, produced a limited number of such 25th anniversary patches referred to. Based on my understanding, though, the larger-sized patches were done on a commercial basis and nothing more. There is another space souvenir company, Florida based, that also was producing large 7.5" dia. patches for a number of U.S. manned missions from Mercury to Shuttle. But those, too, were manufactured for commercial purposes only. Yes, from what I could see without having my own Aurora catalog in front of me, many of Walt Salyer's auction lots of patches appear to be commercial copies and not official crew first-production runs. For Robert, Yes, I agree with your remarks pertaining to Lot #944 about the McCall design sketches. I've never known or heard of any of his early Apollo 17 alternate artwork patch designs that were actually produced into an embroider cloth patch itself! They must be unofficial patch reproductions, I would think. Would anybody else want to comment?

Ray Katz
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posted 10-08-2006 11:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ray Katz   Click Here to Email Ray Katz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recall reading here about an Armstrong "forgery" which an Aurora employee had seen Armstrong sign in-person. (Yeah, it was a bad autograph, with Armstrong balancing the item on his knee while signing... but it WAS genuine.)

I think it's great for us to debate and consider what appears to be good and what doesn't. But I think it's over the line to accuse Aurora of doing anything wrong -- they're not a huge organization and they're doing their best with a large auction (one of many they do!).

Most lots are accurately represented and they cheerfully do their best to "make good" when something goes wrong.

I hope we can be good critical observers here...but also be fair to the hard working people who are bringing us this excellent auction!

Jacques van Oene
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posted 10-09-2006 07:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jacques van Oene     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by benguttery:
Lot: 1122 - Mach 25 Patches. Original patches?
These are NOT original MACH 25 patches!

fabfivefreddy
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posted 10-09-2006 08:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ray Katz:
Most lots are accurately represented and they cheerfully do their best to "make good" when something goes wrong.
What about the autopens, are they just an innocent mistake too?

Michael
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posted 10-09-2006 08:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael   Click Here to Email Michael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is one item I am puzzled by, Lot 751. It is a presentation from Apollo 13 and according to "Relics from the Space Race" the signatures are authentic but in this lot Aurora states that the signatures are preprints. Do you have an opinion on that item?

413 is in
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posted 10-09-2006 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 413 is in   Click Here to Email 413 is in     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ray Katz:
But I think it's over the line to acuse Aurora of doing anything wrong -- they're not a huge organization and they're doing their best with a large auction (one of many they do!).
Does Aurora strictly deal in spaceflight memorabilia or do they have other coals in the fire?

yeknom-ecaps
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posted 10-09-2006 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ray - though your comments are appreciated on hard work etc. Putting together the auction IS THEIR FULL-TIME JOB. It IS their job to be knowledgable on all the items they list and if they do not have the knowledge it is their job to find someone who is. I agree that mistakes do happen, like they do to all of us, but consistently making obvious ones like the autopens and apparently on patches (based on other comments in this thread) do have an impact on our hobby and their reputation.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 10-09-2006 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lets not forget, for their work (accurate/ethical or not), auction houses like Aurora command substantial premiums from both the buyers and sellers (I beleive up to 15-20 percent from each side) ...this is a lot of money that collectors would otherwise be able to apply towards purchasing more artifacts. With the proliferation of online forums like cS, Novaspace Astro-Auctions and yes even eBay (which for the most part provides a safe low commission alternative), there isn't really a need for individuals to relinquish such a large amount of their funds to the auction houses. In the end it seams the auction houses really benefit with a net loss for buyers/consigners.

lunareagle
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posted 10-09-2006 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunareagle   Click Here to Email lunareagle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 16 Flown Robbins Medallion (Lot 904)

Medal collectors should be aware of a few things before considering this item.

  1. There were 98 Apollo 16 medals flown, not 80.
  2. There have been a few Apollo 16 silver medals to surface without serial numbers.
It remains my opinion that these NO NUMBER medals must be considered NOT FLOWN until such time that either all 300 silver medals have been accounted for, or all 98 serial numbered medals are accounted for. A near impossible task.

My experience has found that many astronauts and families were unaware of the details surrounding the Robbins Medals and have innocently believed some to have been flown that were not. As recently as last week, I spoke with an astronaut wife about how medals were divided up with no thought as to some being flown or unflown. Again, in my opinion, certification or not, without a serial number or a letter from from the astronaut stating that this NO NUMBER medal was personally carried by him, there will always be a question to future collectors as to whether it was truly flown. I know that NGC will not certify it as a flown medal unless it were accompanied by a letter from the astronaut who carried it, specifying that detail.

Philip
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posted 10-09-2006 12:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott, you're 100% right!

Ken Havekotte
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posted 10-09-2006 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mike, I didn't know, nor paid close attention, to how Lot 751 was described by Aurora. But you are absolutely correct! The card referred to was hand-signed by the Apollo 13 crew with many of them also being signed by Dr. Walter Kapryan, their launch director at Kennedy. They were NOT pre-printed as the write-up does indeed imply.

Howard, yes, the un-numbered Apollo 16 Robbins medallion (Lot 904) being offered is in question rather it was flown to the moon or not. I have another, not numbered, from one of the first moonwalker's collection that I assumed was flown when I got it more than 12+ years ago. That same medallion, today, I believe probably wasn't flown. Others that I have acquired from Apollo 16 also had no numbers and no engraved dates on the reverse of the medallions for launch, moonlanding and splashdown.

Ray, I heard something about Aurora getting an Apollo 11 crew signed piece in person during a Spaceweek celebration event way back when. But does anyone have more specific information on that in-person signing? If I recall, the signed lot in reference to never did say it was obtained in person, and from my observation (and others) of the Apollo 11 signed piece, all three signatures were "way off" (awful!) -- and not just Armstrong, but also his crewmates as well! During our Florida Spaceweek activities here on the Space Coast during the 1970/80s, only twice did the Apollo 11 crew actually attend such celebrations with us. During those "rare" crew appearances, they hardly signed anything for anyone, but did sign a very small number of official proclamations for the area city mayors. They didn't sign anything for our Spaceweek committee director, yet alone, for any of the committee members (myself included). To my knowledge, in order to have the Apollo 11 crew attend our functions at the time, the crew requested "no autographs" prior to their visit.

VCampbell
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posted 10-09-2006 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for VCampbell   Click Here to Email VCampbell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken - Your recollection is incorrect. It was one item, signed by Armstrong only, for me personally at a Apollo reunion event.

Victoria Campbell

space1
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posted 10-09-2006 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone in the mood for a hardware comment?

Lot 749, Flown Apollo 13 Shim, is described as being a shim from the Environmental Control System. I have seen this type of shim incorrectly described before. The shim is actually from a hatch latch. Photos show this type of shim on an Apollo hatch where a latch has been removed.

The large circular hole, rather than being for air passage, is simply for weight reduction.

There, now doesn't everybody feel better?

------------------
John Fongheiser
President
Historic Space Systems, http://www.space1.com

Leon Ford
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posted 10-09-2006 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leon Ford   Click Here to Email Leon Ford     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ms. Campbell, any chance you will answer my questions? Any chance you will give us information on all the lots that are listed above as questionable by my fellow collectors?

I think we would all like to hear Aurora's view point and why you think they are true autographs since you had them listed as such.

Astro Bill
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posted 10-09-2006 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, please do a favor for all space philatelists by taking any of the lots that you have labeled as forgeries above and describe WHY you think this lot in particular is a forgery. This would be very helpful for bidders in this and other space auctions.

farthestreaches
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posted 10-09-2006 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LCDR Scott Schneeweis:
...even eBay (which for the most part provides a safe low commission alternative )
You're considering eBay as a "safe" low commission alternative?? You're kidding, right?

Ken Havekotte
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posted 10-09-2006 07:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill, I've always had a policy of not explaining why this and that particular autograph in detail is atypical, bogus, or a forgery. Such explanations can take lots of time, and some are quite involved, as I would like to keep some of those reasons personal from fear of having some master forgers "know" a certain pattern or autograph style. One such instance involved Gene Cernan as he didn't sign a certain way until after he came back from exploring the moon. There was an autograph piece signed by him and his first Apollo crewmates, however, from what I know about pre-1972 Cernan signatures, the signed classic glossy pic referred to wasn't signed "in-person" in the vintage year it was described. I'd much rather keep such signing traits as this private and for many other reasons. Once again, such opinions are my own--however--usually other veteran collector specialists would often agree with my observations, for which I am certainly grateful. But of course, Bill, mistakes can/do happen and there is no one in my opinion that would qualify as an overall astronaut autograph "expert."

mjanovec
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posted 10-09-2006 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Astro Bill:
Please do a favor for all space philatelists by taking any of the lots that you have labeled as forgeries above and describe WHY you think this lot in particular is a forgery.
To put it simply, the best way to identify a forgery is to become very familiar with the real thing. Once you have studied an authentic signature style long enough and have seen enough examples of it, you can begin to weed out the fakes from the real thing. You won't be an expert, but you'll have rudimentary skills to eliminate the obvious fakes.

I suggest that collectors save JPGs of real signatures on their computers for later reference...the more you look at something, you more you know about it...just be sure you're studying the real thing!

Astro Bill
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posted 10-09-2006 07:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, if I get an astronaut autograph on a cover in person, how can I prove to someone else that it is genuine? Would it help to have a notary with me to notarize the signature or is a photograph of the signing enough? Many digital cameras put a date on a photograph and even the time of day.

Astro Bill
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posted 10-09-2006 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mark, I agree that accumulating a computer file of astronaut autographs is an excellent idea. They could be categorized by "autopens", "fakes", "genuine", etc. This would be a very useful file for a serious autograph collector.

MelvinSchuetz
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posted 10-09-2006 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MelvinSchuetz   Click Here to Email MelvinSchuetz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Historically, many space books and magazines in these auctions have been given estimates that are greatly inflated when compared to what they are actually worth. However, I was surprised to see a magazine lot this time which is greatly UNDERestimated. It is lot 2136, which appears to be a complete set of the classic Collier's space series magazines, and is given an estimate of only 35-50.

Ray Katz
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posted 10-09-2006 08:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ray Katz   Click Here to Email Ray Katz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A typical Christie's space auction: about 300 lots.

A typical Swann space auction: about 425 lots.

The upcoming Aurora auction: about 2200 lots.

Did Aurora make some mistakes in their catalog? Yes. Did Christies? Yes.

I bought a Christie's lot (some years back) which was described as a bunch of Wally Schirra's papers including documents relating to the crash of an LLTV by Neil Armstrong. The acutal lot dealt with the crash of a training vehicle by the much less famous Joe Algranti.

They made a mistake. I decided to keep the lot (there were other really great papers in it).

You know, both Christie's and Swann are much bigger operations than Aurora. And they made mistakes. Both have stopped doing space auctions (I think... I still hope that Swann will do more.)

I don't think that auctioning space items is all that profitable... if it was, I think Christie's and Swann would still be doing them.

Aurora is the last remaining large space auction that you can go to in person. (Regency-Superior has some space items, of course... but it's not the same.)

As a collector, I watch out for (inevitable) mistakes by the auction house. But I really appreciate Aurora -- they're a smallish operation doing a colossal job. I'm really disappointed that there are none left on the east coast.

I hope we don't lose Aurora, too. Then, we'll pretty much be limited to collecting via the internet... bummer.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-09-2006 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ray Katz:
Both have stopped doing space auctions (I think... I still hope that Swann will do more.)
Swann held a space memorabilia auction on March 18 of this year. They have traditionally organized only one space sale per year in the March-April time frame. Last I heard from them, they were planning for a sale in 2007.

Ray Katz
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posted 10-09-2006 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ray Katz   Click Here to Email Ray Katz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Robert! You made my day! (As much as I appreciate Aurora, I can't get out to Santa Monica so easily...)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-09-2006 08:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ray Katz:
I hope we don't lose Aurora, too. Then, we'll pretty much be limited to collecting via the internet... Bummer.
I used to attend every Superior, Aurora, Christie's and Swann auction, but with the advent of internet bidding, the point of traveling to each of these galleries was largely lost.

Not only do I save travel money to spend on bidding, but I can sit back and relax in my home or office, getting other work done as the auction proceeds through the lots I'm not interested in buying.

Whether Aurora, Swann or any others continue organizing such sales, I wouldn't be suprised if the future of all their auctions see more and more bidders participate only online.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 10-09-2006 09:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by farthestreaches:
You're considering eBay as a "safe" low commision alternative? You're kidding, right?
I indicated "For the most part"... having had 200 plus transactions via eBay, both buying and selling - yet to experience disappointment. Recognize there are some bad apples but with a little conservatism and common sense those can be mostly mitigated. I find the eBay commission fee structure very reasonable (non-existent for the buyer) and substantially less then what would be paid to an auction house by the seller... my point in all this is that the auction houses haven't made a compelling case for why we should shell out such a large premium to buy/sell through them (what value added services do they provide that justify such huge fees) ...recognize in a small percentage of cases they have the potential to connect well financed clientele with items and drive up prices but my bet is that for the majority of lots, after all that commission is handed over to the house, the buyer and sellers could have done comparably well or better on one of the online forums which circumvent the formal auction houses.

farthestreaches
Member

Posts: 891
From: Redondo Beach, Ca
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 10-10-2006 12:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmm... well perhaps you should consider the direct purchase of your space collectibles as well since there's no commission to buyer OR seller. Now to that end, I do recommend one website in particular, but it's name is slipping my mind at the moment.

spaceflori
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Posts: 1376
From: Germany
Registered: May 2000

posted 10-10-2006 01:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A lot has been posted about Aurora and Superior in the past - good and bad.

However comparing eBay/Astro-Auction or an online dealer with Aurora, Superior or Swanns is somewhat off.

Not everybody is selling on eBay, not everybody wants to deal with a dealer, not everybody wants to deal with someone else at all!

For those people auctions houses such as Aurora and Superior are the perfect solution and I'm grateful for many items in those auctions that I would have never found somewhere else.

If those auction houses have the same items for sale you can get anywhere else - market logic would tell me that they wouldn't exist that long - so that's not the case.

I'm happy that we still have those auctions houses leaving alone the fun of realtime online bidding!

freshspot
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Posts: 272
From: Lexington, MA, USA
Registered: Dec 2005

posted 10-10-2006 05:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for freshspot   Click Here to Email freshspot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I look forward to receiving my Aurora catalog twice a year and I think that Victoria and team do a great service to all of us. Thank you Aurora. I agree with Ray -- yeah, there might be a few mistakes here and there but where else can you see 2200 lots and spend a fascinating few hours looking them over.

I don't know if I am typical of cS readers, but I have purchased from Aurora, from eBay, from Steve at Fathest Reaches and this August went to San Antonio this year for some in person signs.

I don't see it as "eBay vs. Aurora" or anyting like that. I am extremely busy in my "real job" and would much rather spend two hours looking through an Aurora catalog that has been vetted by Victoria and checking out Steve Hankow's Farthest Reaches site now and then instead of spending hundreds of hours on eBay looking for a "bargain". A bargain for me is having the pros organize cool things for sale in an easy to read way that makes it simple to buy. Did I "overpay"? No way! For me spending ten hours on eBay to save $100 is overpaying. Are there mistakes in descriptions--yeah, I guess so based on this thread. But why must we beat up the very few dedicated dealers who serve us? Nobody is forced to buy or sell.

I cannot imagine the other side of the auction house business. Imagine if the wife if an astro who wants to sell a piece. It looks and feels authentic to the auction house. The wife says it is authentic and her late husband had if since the 1960s. It goes in the catalog. Then the experts on cS say it is "a fake" but that the rasons they know it is fake are proprietary. I just couldn't imagine phoning the astro's wife...

Dave Scott
(not the astronaut)


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