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  Bonhams April 2012 Space History Sale

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Author Topic:   Bonhams April 2012 Space History Sale
Robert Pearlman
Editor

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

posted 04-24-2012 06:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bonhams press release
Bonhams aims for the stars for their annual Space auction

Bonhams is pleased to announce this year's Space History auction to be held on Thursday, April 26 at our New York headquarters at 580 Madison Avenue. The auction will begin at 1 p.m. and will feature a number of rare and fascinating items associated with space travel.

Matthew Haley, Bonhams Space specialist, states about the sale, "I'm excited about our fourth sale in this fast-growing category. With artifacts from several Apollo astronauts' collections, and some truly unique consignments from collectors and space industry veterans, I am looking forward to seeing some stunning results."

Highlighting the sale is the Sokol KV-2 space suit that Shannon Lucid trained in prior to her 188-day stay on the Russian Mir space station in 1996 (pre-sale est. $30,000 – 50,000). Lucid is a member of NASA's first astronaut class to include women, and from August 1991 to June 2007 held the record for the most days in orbit by any woman in the world, logging more than 223 days in space. She retired at the start of this year after more than three decades of service to the agency.

Another highlight of the sale is a flown Apollo XI crew patch, signed by all three members of the Apollo XI mission: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins (pre-sale est. $40,000-60,000). The cloth is inscribed by Collins with the following: "Carried to the moon aboard Apollo XI, July 1969."

Certainly one of the most unique items Bonhams has sold in our Space History auctions is the first mail to orbit planet Earth (pre-sale est. $30,000-50,000). This letter, written by USAF Chief of Staff Thomas Dresser White, was inside Discover 17, an optical reconnaissance satellite, attached to an Agent-B rocket launched from California in 1960. Bearing the title "First Class Mail-Outer Space" on the envelope, this letter was received by General Lemnitzer, Chief of Staff of the US Army, in commemoration of the joint efforts towards "bringing this nation one step nearer to man's transcendence over the limits of the earth."

Other auction highlights include a U.S. flag carried on Apollo XI (pre-sale est. $20,000-25,000); a flown packet of dehydrated potato soup Fred Haise carried on Apollo XIII (pre-sale est. $7,000-9,000); and an antenna from Russia's robot lunar rover (pre-sale est. $15,000-20,000).

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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

posted 04-24-2012 06:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bonhams release
Bonhams Space History Auction To Feature Unique Reusable Space Planes Model

The annual Space History auction at Bonhams Auction House usually features signed photos of astronauts, space flown postal covers, pressure suits, NASA equipment and the like, but this year there's a unique element; a display model of prototype reusable space planes that never made it past the drawing board.

The auction, which takes place in Bonhams' New York showroom on Thursday, April 26,at 1:00 p.m., features more than three-hundred lots including the space planes model which was built by NASA engineers at Huntsville, Alabama's Marshall Space Flight Center some time in the 1970's. It's believed the space planes were conceived as an early part of NASA's space shuttle program.

"I bought it near Huntsville, Alabama (where it was created at NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center) last year on the World’s Longest Yard Sale. The dealer I purchased it from had this model, a few other household items, and a whole bunch of replacement lawnmower blades," says owner Anthony Taylor, a writer and television producer.

"The following day, I took it to the Antiques Roadshow when they filmed here in Atlanta, and it was appraised for $1,500.00, but I was told to check with Matthew Haley at Bonhams for a more accurate estimate."

Haley's appraisal was $2,000.00 – $4,000.00.

"I loved the retro-futuristic look of them," Taylor continued.

The model stands eleven inches tall and features three identically-shaped planes fit removably back-to-back around a central pyramid mount. One of the planes is silver while the other two are metallic dark grey. Each has a removable payload bay section along the back of the fuselage, and three thruster nozzles. A conical 'hat' holds them together at the noses. It includes a caption label on the base, noting "1:200 scale." The whole assembly fits into it's original 27 x 14 x 10 inch wood carrying case painted blue and with identification decals.

tnperri
Member

Posts: 118
From:
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 04-24-2012 10:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tnperri   Click Here to Email tnperri     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did you see some of the expected prices? $300-400 for an Apollo 8 Manned Flight Awareness medal? $200-300 for some Port Canaveral medals? These go for less than $30 on eBay.

capoetc
Member

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

posted 04-24-2012 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tnperri:
Did you see some of the expected prices?
Sometimes the "expected prices" are based upon the seller's reserve, although I cannot say whether that is the case for items to which you are referring.

cycleroadie
Member

Posts: 241
From: Apalachin, NY USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 04-24-2012 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cycleroadie   Click Here to Email cycleroadie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
Sometimes the "expected prices" are based upon the seller's reserve, although I cannot say whether that is the case for items to which you are referring.
Yes, but they are not being even close to realistic.

For example, they "expect" $1,200 or more for the Flag Salute poster (16x20) signed by Captain Cernan when you can by an 8x10 from Novaspace for $195. They better hope they are getting some people who do not know anything about what is available out there elsewhere.

SkyMan1958
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Posts: 355
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 04-24-2012 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, their prices are outrageous. I'd say many, if not most, of the low end estimates are double what historical prices are... not to mention a commission of 23 - 25%. I've got 3 bids in, and all of them are below the low end estimates. We'll see what happens.

J.L
Member

Posts: 388
From: Bloomington, Illinois, USA
Registered: May 2005

posted 04-24-2012 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for J.L   Click Here to Email J.L     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Their catalog goes out to a very wide audience, many who do not know any better. They have had some very good luck reaching and selling to this group of novices in the past.

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

posted 04-27-2012 07:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wish I would have won the lot of 17 Lion Brothers patches for $2375. That's only $140 per patch! I am kidding of course, that price seems crazy to this collector.

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

posted 04-27-2012 08:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben, I can offer you a set at the discount knock-down once-in-a-lifetime offer price of $139 per patch.

In fact some of the low-end items in these Bonhams auctions have high estimates but end up selling at quite normal prices so it's always worth keeping an eye on, but it's true that plenty of normal stuff sells for crazy prices.

Jurvetson
Member

Posts: 38
From: Menlo Park, CA, United States
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 04-27-2012 01:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurvetson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was happy to pick up the Apollo 11 prototype flag and silicon Goodwill Disc and Luna 9 soft-lander petal. Anyone seen those available before?

Watching the bidding live, there seemed to be a pattern of bidding inflation for signatures, and I wonder if that reflects a group of bidders focused on signatures but new to space... and perhaps unaware of how common these are for some of the living astronauts, and how easily they can be gathered. For example, lot 1115 blew my mind. It's an unflown chart, with six common signatures. A trip or two to Spacefest could recreate that artifact or something substantially similar for $3 to $5K. But two bidders saw the value as $65K.

413 is in
Member

Posts: 397
From: Alexandria, VA USA
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-27-2012 01:36 PM     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 Jurvetson:
I was happy to pick up the Apollo 11 prototype flag and silicon Goodwill Disc and Luna 9 soft-lander petal. Anyone seen those available before?
Steve, those are some impressive scores, for sure, to be added to your ever growing space museum! I seem to remember seeing the prototype flag offered at auction a few years back (possibly Bonhams or Swann?). I'm not home at the moment so do not have access to my catalogs. Perhaps someone else can check or remembers where it was offered.

I attended the auction in person yesterday and agree with your comments on price inflation. I noticed that there was one very aggressive phone bidder who was frequently battling it out with another equally aggressive absentee bidder on quite a few of the same items, many of which were autographed pieces. As one of the staff at Bonhams commented "The most important person in the room is the under bidder." Lot 1115 was nuts! I believe it went to the phone bidder. Might have been worth it if each of the astronauts actually signed the piece on the lunar surface.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

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

posted 04-28-2012 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bonhams release
Bonhams Boldy Continues to Grow in the Space History Category

Bonhams is pleased to announce the results of The Space History Sale that took place April 26. Bringing in over $1 million, this lively and growing collecting category continuously attracts new bidders. Bonhams was delighted to have a significant amount of new registrants who bought at high levels, ultimately contributing to one-fifth of this sale total.

Matthew Haley, the Specialist for the auction, states, "I am constantly impressed by the growing enthusiasm for this auction category. Each sale attracts more interest and ultimately more buyers. This continues to be a highlight of the Bonhams auction season."

A leader of the auction was an extraordinary lunar chart inscribed and signed by a member of each Apollo lunar landing crew including Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Edgar Mitchell and several others. This color lithograph lunar map sold for double its high estimate at $62,500 (pre-sale est. $20,000-30,000).

An impressive addition to any collection is a space suit. The Yastreb, "Hawk" in Russian, space suit was a rare Soviet extra-vehicular suit designed for the Soyuz program. This suit sold for $46,250 against a pre-sale estimate of $25,000-35,000. The second suit in the sale was used by the recently retired Shannon Lucid. Lucid set records for the most hours spent in orbit by a non-Russian, and by a woman. Her Sokol KV-2 suit, "Falcon" in Russian, was worn during her MIR training and claimed $35,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $30,000-50,000.

The prototype of the a lunar flagpole was designed just three months before Apollo 11, after a request for a flagpole that could support the US flag in an environment with no atmosphere-the surface of the moon. This prototype sold for well over triple the pre-sale estimate for $43,750 (pre-sale est. $8,000-12,000).

Rare photographs and models also drew a lot of interest. Two sets of Apollo 11 Hasselblad positives sold for well over their estimates, while a large color photograph of Tranquillity Base, July 20, 1969 sold for $5,250 (pre-sale est. $2,000-3,000) and a signed color photograph of one of the last Earth rise views from lunar orbit during the Apollo 17 mission, titled The Last Earth Rise? sold for $7,500 (pre-sale est. $2,000-3,000). Two models that performed admirably included an early 1970s space plane prototype model, selling for five time its high estimate at $20,000, and the closing lot of the auction, a model of an Angara 3 launch vehicle that sold for $18,750 against a modest pre-sale estimate of $800-1,200.

Larry McGlynn
Member

Posts: 805
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 04-28-2012 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was there as usual. The phone bidding was lively. The internet accounted for some of the bidding as did the floor or absentee bidders, but the main thrust of the bidding was from the phone.

The floor was quiet this year. There weren't many people in attendance, but that appears to be the trend now a days with phone and the internet.

I picked up some A-13 training cue cards and three training orbital monitor charts from A-14, A-15 and A-16. That was all I wanted.

Yesterday, I saw the Shuttle fly overhead while in Central Park.

413 is in
Member

Posts: 397
From: Alexandria, VA USA
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-30-2012 12:57 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 Jurvetson:
I was happy to pick up the Apollo 11 prototype flag and silicon Goodwill Disc and Luna 9 soft-lander petal. Anyone seen those available before?
Okay Steve, I found it. An Apollo 11 prototype flag sold at Regency Superior in April 2007. Not sure if this is the same flag or not. If interested, email me and I'll send a PDF of the results for this lot as posted on eBay Live Auctions. It was lot #419.

divemaster
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Posts: 1341
From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 04-30-2012 03:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Did the Alan Bean's Jumpin' John original sell?

413 is in
Member

Posts: 397
From: Alexandria, VA USA
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-30-2012 09:17 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 divemaster:
Did the Alan Bean's Jumpin' John original sell?

Yes, it sold for $55K + 25%.

spkjb
Member

Posts: 95
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 04-30-2012 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 413 is in:
Yes, it sold for $55K + 25%.
The price with BP seems in line (slightly under) the $135.00 per square inch norm mentioned in the past.

All times are CT (US)

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