Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Apollo artifacts anchor Heritage Auctions’ Space event 550-lot auction, April 18, features space artifacts landed on lunar surface from all Apollo moon missions; key pieces from Mercury and Gemini missions; Neil Armstrong’s boyhood red toy airplane
set of Apollo Robbins Medals, offered individually.
A trio of lots relating to the childhood of Neil Armstrong is sure to garner significant attention and spirited bidding when they cross the block. Armstrong’s childhood toy airplane, well-used and accompanied by a signed photo of Armstrong’s family home at 601 W. Benton Street in Wapakoneta, Ohio, is estimated at $1,500+, while four pieces of his elementary school homework and his handmade childhood signed booklet about the Life of Christ, written at an early age and maybe one of the longest Armstrong manuscripts of any type ever offered, are both expected to also bring $1,500+.
“Of all the Neil Armstrong-related lots we've offered through the years, these stand out as some of the most interesting and unique,” said Riley. “The very cool red metal toy airplane, which Neil and his little brother Dean played with as children, shows Armstrong had a fascination with airplanes that would influence his entire career and life.”
One of the most interesting numismatic corners of the auction is an Apollo 11 flown French 20 Franc coin and necklace in a framed display with a crew-signed letter of authenticity, estimated at $40,000+, that originally belonged to folk singer Trish Butte, who sang at several Cape Canaveral area hotels and became friends with a number of the astronauts.
Original oil paintings by astronaut Alan Bean are always in demand at auction, and his 1993 painting “Cernan And His Rover,” a textured acrylic on Masonite piece, is an awesome and dramatic canvas. The painting, expected to bring $40,000+, has been on display at the Cosmosphere in Hutchison, KS, for the last five years.
More than two dozen lots from the collection of Lola Morrow, known as the “den mother” to the astronauts throughout the 1960s – a woman who earned the respect of the astronauts by working hard to help them reach their goal of getting to the moon. – will be of note to collectors. A humorous drawing given to her upon her retirement from NASA in 1969, signed by 26 astronauts including Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and eight other moonwalkers (estimate: $6,000+) is already attracting significant pre-auction attention.
Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 750,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com