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  Heritage flown Gemini patches

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Author Topic:   Heritage flown Gemini patches
Bill Hunt
Member

Posts: 378
From: Irvine, CA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 09-20-2007 07:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to whoever won those flown Gemini patches this evening. The total butchers bill for the lot was a whopping $31,700, not including auction house fees. I made myself some popcorn, sat here in my office and had a good old time watching the dollar figures climb. Yikes. I had a feeling that they'd go for large amounts however. A complete set, all flown, in matching presentations, given by the astronauts themselves, with that kind of provenance - I think there are a lot of factors that made the price climb unrelated to the rarity of the patches themselves. It was good entertainment this evening, that's for sure.

If any of you won, I'd love to hear your stories. Best!

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Bill Hunt

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 400
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-20-2007 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I still can't see any evidence these patches were flown, other than the claim in the catalog descriptions. Again, no such claim is made in any of Garino's letters or plaques. In fact, his letter for the Gemini 10 patch says he received it prior to launch.

Bill Hunt
Member

Posts: 378
From: Irvine, CA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 09-20-2007 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That would certainly make the high prices even more interesting. I suspect at least one or two wealthy collectors wanted the set as a whole.

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Bill Hunt

benguttery
Member

Posts: 542
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 09-20-2007 08:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill: I thought you won all these? That's why I wasn't bidding! Ben

Bill Hunt
Member

Posts: 378
From: Irvine, CA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 09-20-2007 09:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I could have sworn I'd told you I was disinclined. I WAS considering for a short time, but finally decided that these things were almost certainly going to go for silly prices so I didn't bid. A reportedly flown complete matching set, with provenance? I figured, correctly, that the final prices would be absurd. I got SIX original Gemini patches, plus several other vintage patches, for $3200 not that long ago. Most of these fetched more than that individually. I guess if you've got that kind of money to burn, no sweat, but it was way out of my price range. And I consider myself a pretty avid collector. $31,700 for the whole smash?! The three I actually wanted came to over $11,000, not including fees. I'm a crazy patch collector, but I'm not THAT crazy. The other thing that made them less attractive to me was the fact that they were all glued into the presentations. And after all this, someone else recently picked up a Gemini-5 patch for, what was it, around $300? Bargins are out there. You just have to have patience. If I've learned nothing else as a collector, it's that almost anything you're looking for is out there, and you can find it for a decent price if you have patience. $31,700 plus fees may be a decent price to someone out there, but not me.

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Bill Hunt

benguttery
Member

Posts: 542
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 09-20-2007 10:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just kidding you. I didn't even make the brief trip over to the auction to see it in person, but watched in amazement at home. I know a lot of patch and insignia collectors of all kinds and none would pay these prices. These must have been bought as trophies. Will give you a shout when I find a box of these around. You please do the same. Ben

Bill Hunt
Member

Posts: 378
From: Irvine, CA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 09-20-2007 11:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben, you're the first person I'd call.

I wonder if Donnis Willis went after any of them. Don? You around?

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Bill Hunt

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2597
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 09-22-2007 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't really think it's fair to consider these prices overblown as the prices represent flown souvenirs rather than the value of the patches themselves.

An Apollo 7 beta cloth patch is worth maybe $50 to $100 but a flown example would probably sell for $1500 to $3000. That doesn't mean the buyer has misjudged the value of the beta cloth patch. The value is in the fact that it's a flown artifact.

Gemini flown souvenirs are extremely rare in any form, much more so than Apollo flown items, so these prices are about what I'd expect. The only exception is the Gemini 10 patch which was not listed a flown.

On another issue, Bill's Gemini patches were obviously a bargain. The main reason for this was that they were poorly listed so only the handful of buyers who could visit the auction house in person were really able to judge what was in the lot. The other reason is that batched lots generally fetch less than the sum of their parts.

Had those patches been clearly listed as individual lots I'm certain they would have fetched vastly more money.

Finally, patience is certainly helpful for the serious patch collector but if you're looking for a particular Gemini patch you'll be lucky to see one example sold in several years. With that level of supply and the significant level of demand from serious collectors, patience is only going to get you so far.

Go4Launch
Member

Posts: 400
From: Bethesda, MD
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-25-2007 11:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaced out:
...the prices represent flown souvenirs rather than the value of the patches themselves...so these prices are about what I'd expect. The only exception is the Gemini 10 patch which was not listed a flown.

I hate to beat a dead horse here, but am I the only one who thinks it's odd that not only does the original owner's documentation makes no claim the patches were flown, but that his only "flight" reference says that patch was not flown? I mean, wouldn't you think that would have been a very big deal to note?

Clearly the buyer(s) is/are satisfied that Heritage listed them as flown -- I guess I'd like a little bit more evidence than just a catalog description.

quote:
On another issue, Bill's Gemini patches were obviously a bargain...Had those patches been clearly listed as individual lots I'm certain they would have fetched vastly more money.

I completely agree. I'd put the market for authentic (non-flown) Gemini patches at between $400 - $1,000 depending on the mission, but that also does seem a little high to me. Other estimates?

Edited by Go4Launch on September 25, 2007 at 11:43 PM.

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2597
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 09-26-2007 02:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree that the descriptions of the lots are a bit ambiguous in this respect. Apparently Joe Garino signed a copy of each lot's description to validate it so he is the one stating that certain lots are flown. It's a shame the quoted wording of his statements in each case don't mention that the astronaut that gave him the patch said anything about them being flown.

In terms of the value of unflown Gemini patches, I can only think of one recent example of a Gemini patch being sold individually, and that Gemini 9 patch sold for $1250, as you're well aware.

I can't imagine any properly-listed Gemini crew patch selling for less than $750-1000 at the moment to be honest. Maybe if five or six of one particular mission sold in a short time we'd see the price drop towards $500 but with one selling every few years I'm afraid $1000-1500 is far more likely.

Edited by spaced out on September 26, 2007 at 08:58 AM.

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 09-26-2007 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't help but think that many years from now there will be a boatload of items with claims that they were flown, but only a very small number of items with iron-clad provenance.

I think the folks who are going out of their way to validate the flown status of their items (getting the astronauts themselves to sign them attesting to the fact -- particularly since it is well known that most, if not all, of them will not attest to flown status unless they are certain the item was actually flown) are very wise.

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John Capobianco
Camden DE

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