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Author Topic:   R&R Enterprises January 2009 auction
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posted 12-17-2008 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MichaelRRAuction   Click Here to Email MichaelRRAuction     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi, fellow collectors. I thought you'd be interested in hearing about an extraordinary rarity to be offered at RRAuction in January: An oversized Apollo 1 photo signed by all three crew members, which has remained in the family of the original owner until the present. I've included the catalogue description below, along with a link to a high-resolution jpeg. The auction begins on December 29 and ends on January 14. Feel free to contact us with any questions!

Michael Rodman

Space-Race Tragedy: Rare Oversized Photo Signed By All Three Crew Members Of The Ill-Fated Apollo 01 Mission

Gus Grissom (1926-1967), one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, became the second American in space during a flight aboard Liberty Bell 7 in July 1961. The otherwise successful flight would forever be colored by controversy after the hatch door blew prematurely following splashdown, for reasons that are still unclear, resulting in the loss of the capsule. Roger B. Chaffee (1935-1967), a former Navy pilot, was chosen as part of the third astronaut group in 1963 and, despite no previous spaceflight experience, was selected as lunar module pilot for the first Apollo mission. Edward H. White (1930-1967), chosen as part of the second astronaut group in 1962, was the first American, as part of the 1965 Gemini 4 mission, to make a spacewalk. During a training exercise in the Apollo 01 command module on January 27, 1967, a flash fire, later determined to be caused by exposed wiring in the highly pressurized, oxygen-saturated environment, engulfed the capsule. Within minutes, all three crew members, unable to escape from the tightly sealed capsule, had perished in the most deadly American space-related accident until the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger nearly two decades later. Very rare color glossy 11 x 13.5 photo on a period 13.5 x 16 card mount, picturing the suited Apollo 1 crew standing on raised platform before a capsule (possibly the one in which they perished) as several NASA technicians look on, signed in black felt tip "Gus Grissom," "Roger B. Chaffee," and "Ed White." Matted and framed with a brass name plaque to an overall size of 17 x 19.75. In very good condition, with scattered creases, surface marks, impressions, and small, light scratches (mostly visible from an angle; tiny marks very lightly touching signatures, with no visual impact), slight color shift/fading to emulsion (most evident at extreme edges of image hidden by mat), and wear and a few chips to mount, not affecting the photo itself. All three signatures are dark and clear, and, in its framed presentation, the overall impression of the photo is undeniably impressive. As a result of the untimely tragedy, crew-signed Apollo 01 photos take a place among the supreme rarities in space collecting, easily surpassing in rarity those from any other mission. While the total number of extant examples is estimated at fewer than two dozen, the present photo is of exceeding interest and rarity even within that select group. First, the pose is extremely uncommon; the vast majority of signed examples, including the well-known cache of 11 that originated from the estate of the first astronaut office manager at Kennedy Space Center, are standard-issue, 10 x 8 NASA offset lithographs featuring the astronauts in flight suits against a generic, nondescript background. Second, the present photo appears appears to be the largest example yet to surface; given its generous dimensions, as well as a comparison with oversized photos from other missions, the emergence of a larger example appears to be a remote possibility at best. Third, the photo has remained in the family of the original owner -- Lee Gibbons, an employee of North American Aviation, a contractor to the Apollo program -- since 1966, when it was obtained, and has never before been offered for sale. In sum: one of the most momentous offerings in the recent history of space collecting -- and a treasure with the potential to pass into legend as the finest of its kind! COA Scott Cornish and RRAuction COA.


Posts: 198
From: Washington, DC USA
Registered: Dec 2006

posted 01-02-2009 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DCCollector   Click Here to Email DCCollector     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Browsing through the catalog, I noticed Lot 105, a book signed by both Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, "To Alan Bean..."

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