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  Bonhams May 2011 Space History Sale

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Author Topic:   Bonhams May 2011 Space History Sale
gliderpilotuk
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Posts: 3043
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 02-03-2011 06:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just got a flyer asking for consignments to the next Bonhams Space History Sale on May 5, 2011.

One listed item is Alexei Leonov's space suit, used on the historic 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.

spaceflori
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Posts: 1376
From: Germany
Registered: May 2000

posted 02-03-2011 07:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
50 years after Shepard's flight - good timing!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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

posted 04-20-2011 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bonhams' press release
American Race Into Space Celebrated at Bonhams New York Auction on the 50th Anniversary of Alan Shepard's First Spaceflight

  • Collar tag from 'Ham', the American chimp who beat Yuri Gagarin into space

  • The Fédération Aeronautique Internationale Certificate Confirming Shepard's Success

  • JFK letter urging NASA chief to bolster collaborative efforts to beat the Russians to the moon

  • Two remarkable moon-landed lots, including a film camera and stopwatch, consigned directly from Apollo astronauts
Bonhams New York annual Space History sale takes place on Thursday May 5 at its saleroom on Madison Avenue, and features 250 lots that chronicle the Space Race, space exploration and the American missions to the moon.

Notably, the auction takes place 50 years to the day that Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space, and the sale contains a number of exceptional items from the American side of the Space Race, along with a number of Soviet artifacts.

Matthew Haley, Bonhams Space History Specialist says: "Bonhams' annual Space History Sale is on the radar of a growing number of collectors, and it's an exciting time of the year. With the notable anniversaries of Soviet and American first flights into space, we're delighted that our sale not only honors both sides of the race into space, but pays particular attention to America's final victory, and the struggles and sacrifices made in the pursuit of the moon."

On April 12 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space - however, the United States sent the first chimpanzee out into space over two months earlier, on January 1961. His name was 'Ham', named after the Holloman Aerospace Medical center in New Mexico where he was reared. On the flight that took the chimp 157 miles into space, Ham pushed one lever over 50 times during the flight. After his flight, he retired first to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and then to a North Carolina zoo - and he passed away in 1983. Consigned by the airman who looked after him at the center, Ham's space-flown neck-tag provides a poignant reminder of the perils and risks of space flights, and it is estimated at $2,000-4,000.

A few weeks after Gagarin's flight, the American astronaut Alan Shepard flew 116 miles into space aboard Freedom 7 on May 5 1961 and the mission marked the beginning of manned U.S. space exploration. The Fédération Aeronautique Internationale certificate chronicling this milestone, and signed by Shepard himself, is being offered in the sale with an estimate of $8,000-12,000. Interestingly the FAI decreed that to qualify for the world record first space-flight that the Soviets claimed, the pilot had to take-off and land in the same vehicle. Gagarin did not (he ejected from Vostok 1 four miles above the Earth), but this was covered up till 1971, and by that time the Soviet record had been popularly accepted.

John F. Kennedy famously set the United States on course for its moon missions in 1961 and in February that year appointed James E. Webb as NASA administrator. Over 30 lots from the Estate of James Webb feature in the sale, including a letter from the President encouraging Webb to continue to collect press clippings regarding the Russian's interest in getting to the moon (est. $1,500-2,000).

In the late 1960s, the Apollo program signaled the successful culmination of a decade's hard work, and the Bonhams auction features two truly remarkable moon-landed Apollo lots, consigned directly by Apollo astronauts themselves.

Firstly, the sale features a Data Acquisition Camera (DAC) that filmed the descent to the moon's surface from the Apollo 14 lunar module, consigned by the Apollo 14 Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell (est. $60,000-80,000). Mitchell was the sixth man to walk on the moon, and the film taken during the descent has been widely published. Most lunar module DACs were left on the surface on the moon due to weight restrictions, and the only other lunar surface DAC here on Earth currently resides at the Smithsonian Institution.

Secondly, a stopwatch utilized by Apollo 15 Commander David Scott is also offered (est. $120,000-180,000). Dave Scott was the seventh moonwalker, and the first person to drive on the moon, and the stopwatch is consigned directly from his personal collection. Used to time engine burns among other tasks, the stopwatch was manufactured by Bulova and there is no other stopwatch from the moon's surface to come to market.

An illustrated auction catalogue for the Space History Sale will be available online in the weeks preceding the sale.

tetrox
Member

Posts: 92
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 04-21-2011 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have absolutely no axe to grind regarding the sale of Apollo artifacts, however I cannot understand how a Data Acquisition Camera from an Apollo mission comes onto the open market.

I can understand a watch, a pen or some such personal items but how does a camera become an astronaut's personal possession?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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

posted 04-21-2011 05:23 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 tetrox:
...how does a camera become an astronaut's personal possession?
Hardware that was intended to be left on the moon was considered by NASA as refuse. If an astronaut chose to bring back one or more of these items (e.g. lunar module [LM] netting, LM hand controllers, PLSS backpack shoulder straps, PLSS VHF antenna, etc.) then it became accepted in most situations to become their personal memento.

tetrox
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Posts: 92
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 04-21-2011 05:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the reply, but surely if the items were meant to be left on the surface they were meant to be left.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3023
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-21-2011 05:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even being personally consigned from Mitchell, I would want to verify its provenance - something which should be able to be accomplished relatively easily since documents with the flown DAC's serial numbers are available.

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

posted 04-29-2011 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have any interest in the autographed items in Lot No: 249, Cosmonaut Shonin's Soyuz Souvenirs? A small group of items from cosmonaut Georgy S. Shonin's collection, including:
  1. Black and white photograph, 8x11 inches, of 39 cosmonauts and astronauts on the steps of the main building at Star City, Moscow, 1991, signed by 36 of the subjects including Alexei Leonov, Valentina Tereshkova, Gherman Titov, Vladimir Shatalov, Georgy Shonin, and several American astronauts including Dick Gordon, Stuart Roosa, and Owen Garriott.

  2. Color photograph, 8x5 inches, of Shonin in his space suit, signed. Framed together with item 1.
I am interested in the third item in that lot which are patches. I am not interested in the autographs, but would consider collaborating if anyone is interested. I think the lot is greatly overvalued.

NEW: I was advised that the lot has been amended to include: 9 additional signed photographs of Shonin, and three passport photographs of him in military uniform.

space1
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Posts: 506
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 04-29-2011 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Most lunar module DACs were left on the surface on the moon due to weight restrictions...
The LM DACs were used to film lunar liftoff and rendezvous with the CSM, and so presumably were returned to Earth. NASA would have kept them for official purposes until they were no longer needed. Would a separate "disposable" DAC have been used on the surface during lunar EVA?

randyc
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From: Highlands Ranch, CO USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 04-29-2011 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randyc   Click Here to Email randyc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the Apollo 14 mission a Data Acquisition Camera (DAC) was mounted on the MET. The most famous footage from that camera is the sequence showing Shepard and Mitchell erecting the U.S. flag on the lunar surface.

On Apollo's 15-17 a DAC was mounted on the Lunar Rover on a post between the seats.

These DACs were in addition to the one that was mounted in the Lunar Module (just above the LM Pilot's window) used to film the undocking, landing, ascent and docking sequences (and on Apollo 11 it was used to film Neil Armstrong's descent from the LM, his first steps on the lunar surface and collection of the contingency sample, as well as Neil and Buzz erecting the U.S. flag.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-02-2011 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Independent of the DAC mounted onboard the Command Module, on the non J-Mission flights there was only one other DAC flown - the unit initially installed onboard the LM which was dismounted and deployed with the crew during their EVA's (the exception being Apollo 11). The J-Mission MESA included a separate DAC for installation on the LRV.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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

posted 05-05-2011 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bonhams press release
Out-Of-This-World Space History Sale at Bonhams

Russian Space Suit Fetches a Quarter of a Million Dollars
Shepard's Record-Breaking Flight Certificate Sells For $9,760

Bonhams held an extremely successful annual Space History Sale on May 5th, which celebrated to the day the 50th anniversary of the first American in space, Alan Shepard. A room full of active bidders competed against a myriad of telephone and online bidders for 250 lots that documented the Space Race, space exploration and the American missions to the moon, and totaled $1.2 million.

Matthew Haley, Bonhams Space specialist states, "It was amazing to witness active bidding from all over the world. There were some fierce battles at some points which gave the sale a great energy."


Lot 242: Alexei Leonov's Apollo-Soyuz Test Project spacesuit. Credit: Bonhams

The top lot of the sale was Alexei Leonov's 1975 Apollo-Soyuz flown space suit selling for an outstanding $242,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $100,000-150,000. Elsewhere an extensively annotated sheet by James Lovell and Fred Haise from Apollo 13 sold for $111,020 (pre-sale estimate $30,000-40,000). Fred Haise describes this document as "an extremely significant artifact" from that near fatal mission to the moon.

The Fédération Aeronautique Internationale certificate confirming Shepard's success on May 5th 1961 was particularly noteworthy and sold for $9,760 (pre-sale estimate $8,000-12,000).


Lot 34: Certificate confirming Alan Shepard's success. Credit: Bonhams

The third top lot was the second space suit worn by Russian cosmonaut Gennadi Strekalov during the 10th mission to the Mir space station. This lot sold for $67,100 (pre-sale estimate $60,000-80,000).

Another favorite of the auction was HAM, the space chimp's flown brass neck tag which sold for $12,200 against a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-4,000. During an exciting bidding battle, Malcolm Barber, Bonhams CEO and auctioneer of this sale, playfully said, "You will never find one of these again."

Other notable performers include Buzz Aldrin's flown Apollo 11 flight plan sheet for $32,940 (pre-sale estimate $25,000-35,000), a lunar chart signed by a member of every lunar flight crew for $31,720 (pre-sale estimate $8,000-12,000) and a set of the most extensive notes recorded while on the moon for $30,500 (pre-sale estimate $30,000-40,000).

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

posted 05-05-2011 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like some hefty prices.

randyc
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Posts: 599
From: Highlands Ranch, CO USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 05-05-2011 07:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randyc   Click Here to Email randyc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Someone paid $1,600 for a Harrison Schmitt signed NASA 8x10 litho, the one with him, the U.S. Flag and the Earth! An Apollo 13 crew-signed cover canceled on April 14, 1970 with a crew-patch cachet sold for $3,800!

A Topping LM model, with missing pieces, sold for $5,000! And a flown page (one page) from an Apollo 13 LM procedure with notations by Lovell and Haise... for $91,000!

What are these people thinking?

By the way, the Apollo 14 lunar surface flown DAC was withdrawn. Does anyone know why?

benguttery
Member

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

posted 05-05-2011 10:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was very surprised too at the prices. I do wonder what they were thinking? Investors looking for something safe?

spaceflori
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Posts: 1376
From: Germany
Registered: May 2000

posted 05-06-2011 12:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As always with these kind of auctions there are some exaggerations, but if you look closely at the sale, there were some reasonable (if you can say that at all...) prices, too, plus lots of items even didn't sell as they didn't reach the estimate.

Overall a very strong sale, I was glad to pick up two really unique Kennedy items for my own collection which in my opinion were one of the highlights of the sale and I was prepared to go even way higher!

gliderpilotuk
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Posts: 3043
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 05-06-2011 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe Bonhams can use the massive auction premia to enter the electronic age and offer "live" internet bidding?

spaceflori
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Posts: 1376
From: Germany
Registered: May 2000

posted 05-06-2011 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They did offer live bidding for the sale...

You had to register in advance with them and then you got a link to enter live watching and bidding. It worked very well for me.

But Paul is right... it didn't say it anywhere they have live online bidding. I just registered and surprise surprise they emailed me a special link.

gliderpilotuk
Member

Posts: 3043
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 05-07-2011 04:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ha, thanks Florian. You're one step ahead of me!

MikeSpace
unregistered
posted 05-07-2011 08:54 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was drooling over Michael Collins' flown Apollo 11 Beta Patch signed by the crew, I think it was lot 113. I don't see that lot in the prices realized. Anyone know if it sold and for how much?

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

posted 05-07-2011 08:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That patch did not sell. It is waiting at Bonhams for you! It was guided at $60,000 to $80,000.

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