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  Resources for astronaut crew autograph values

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Author Topic:   Resources for astronaut crew autograph values
spkjb
Member

Posts: 110
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 05-25-2011 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are there resources for value and or comparisons of "crew-signed" autographs?

I am a new member of collectSPACE.

I realize there are all sorts of factors (type of item, condition, inscribed or not, size, photo or artwork, etc.); so maybe a range of prices?

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3622
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 05-25-2011 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to collectSPACE!

There are no firm values published for crew-signed autographs. As you note, value will vary quite a bit by what is signed, how it's signed, condition, size, etc. And often, the price obtained depends on what two collectors who want the piece are willing to bid for it at that moment (assuming the item is up for auction).

For the sake of guesswork, let's throw out some general prices for the early crews. These values assume the following standard: signed 8x10 crew portrait lithograph, excellent condition, bold signatures, unpersonalized.

Gemini III: $4000-$7000+ (if you can find one)
Gemini IV: $1000-$2000
Gemini V: $200-$400
Gemini VI: $200-$400
Gemini VII: $300-$500
Gemini VIII: $3000-$6000+ (another tough one to find)
Gemini IX: $200-$400
Gemini X: $700-$1200
Gemini XI: $150-$300
Gemini XII: $350-$500
Apollo 1: $7500-$10000+
Apollo 7: $800-$1200
Apollo 8: $600-$1000
Apollo 9: $300-$500
Apollo 10: $600-$900
Apollo 11: $5000-$10000+ (can vary wildly)
Apollo 12: $200-$400
Apollo 13: $800-$1200 (with Swigert)
Apollo 14: $700-$1000+
Apollo 15: $500-$800
Apollo 16: $600-$1000
Apollo 17: $400-$700

These are numbers off the top of my head...and I might re-think some of them if I researched more recent auction results. Other collectors will likely have differing opinions. You may find some signed lithos for less. And some may go for more (sometimes a lot more). But these are ballpark numbers for the sake of comparison.

And, of course, if you find a signed item that is not a crew portrait lithograph (such as a signed cover), these numbers may not (and likely will not) be valid.

Crew signed photos for the shuttle era will vary wildly...often depending on the popularity of the mission and the makeup of the crew (i.e. how many tough signers flew on the mission). Less popular missions with relatively cooperative signers will sell for $50-$200. More popular missions...or missions with some tough signers...will sell for $200-$500+. The two accident flights (51L and 107) often sell for $4000-$7000.

Many of the earlier shuttle missions are easier to find, since crews tended to be better about signing...though there are several notable exceptions (STS-9). More recent crews can often be harder to obtain (as they may contain multiple tough signers).

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 05-25-2011 12:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi, welcome to collectSPACE!

As you recognized, there's not a straightforward answer to your question. Ultimately, the simplest way to determine value for a signed item is to check eBay and the auction houses (see the Auctions section) to see what similar items have recently sold for. But that's just a guide. Regular cS members were recently stunned when one autographed item sold at auction for several thousand dollars more than most of us thought it was worth.

A recent thread on cS discussed the difficulty of establishing a realistic range of values for autographs.

The astronauts publish their signing fees (for example, you can see what some astronauts are charging to sign at Spacefest next week. However, if you compare what astronauts are charging to sign items with what those same autographs would sell for on eBay, you'll find that collectors looking for a quick turnaround rarely recoup their money, unless the signed item is very unusual or has some special significance.

I see that you're from Merritt Island. I'm just guessing, but perhaps you have some items that you acquired from a relative or acquaintance who worked in the space program. The more you can do to establish providence (who you got the item from) and the person's specific connection to or role in the program, that will help to add somewhat to the value of an item. However, remember that over 400,000 people worked on Apollo, so not all space workers' artifacts or keepsakes will be hugely valuable!

spkjb
Member

Posts: 110
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 05-25-2011 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
WOW! Thanks for both QUICK detailed and helpful responses!

capoetc
Member

Posts: 1729
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 05-25-2011 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also, many people get fooled by autopen signed crew lithos. Many people have had these since the 60's-70's and always thought they were genuine.

In other words, for comparison, an autopen signed Apollo 11 litho would likely sell for $25-100 (should be on the low end of that), but I have seen them sell for $1000+ on eBay to unsuspecting collectors.

Bob M
Member

Posts: 1393
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-26-2011 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very good and helpful value estimations, Mark.

The only one I'd question is for Apollo 13, because of Apollo 13's popularity and scarcity of crew lithos signed the actual flown crew. For those reasons, and also remembering some sales of Apollo 13's, I'd say more like $3,000 to $4,000 for an Apollo 13 is more accurate in my opinion.

And when John Young started signing at Novaspace several years ago, he helped devalue Apollo 10's, and Apollo 16's, along with Gemini 10's, as these three used to be among the hardest to find and most expensive of Apollo and Gemini crew signed lithos.

It would be very interesting to see what a complete set of Apollo crew signed lithos (Apollo 7 thru Apollo 17) would go for in a big auction.

mjanovec
Member

Posts: 3622
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 05-26-2011 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good points, Bob. Apollo 13 might actually be worth more than my initial "guesstimate." I found a vintage crew-signed photo a few years back for about $600, but I may have simply been really lucky!

spkjb
Member

Posts: 110
From: Merritt Island, Florida USA
Registered: May 2011

posted 09-13-2011 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spkjb   Click Here to Email spkjb     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
For the sake of guesswork, let's throw out some general prices for the early crews.
Thank you for this signature resource. Do you know of any similar resource for Russian astronauts (esp. the early era)?

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