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Heritage's First Air & Space Auction Posts "Out of This World" Results!

Heritage Auction Galleries held their inaugural Air & Space Signature Auction on September 20, 2007 in their Dallas, Texas headquarters and the results are in.

DALLAS, TEXAS: Heritage Auction Galleries held their inaugural Air & Space Signature Auction on September 20, 2007 in their Dallas, Texas headquarters. The auction, which featured personal memorabilia from legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin, realized $1,138,436 for 379 lots offered so far, with after-auction sales still ongoing, and expected to push the final total to even higher levels. A Final Session of less expensive material will also be held on Friday, September 21.

"This was a very strong auction, filled with exceptionally exciting material," said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions for Dallas-based Heritage. "For those of us that grew up with President John F. Kennedy's vision of putting a man on the moon, and who remember watching the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969, the allure of actually owning an object that was flown into outer space, or, better yet, was actually present on the surface of the moon, is absolutely irresistible. Whether it's a coin or a book or a slide rule or whatever, these are some of the most unique items in the world, items that have actually seen the surface of an extraterrestrial body."

"As we expected, the most coveted items were those that came from the personal collection of astronaut Buzz Aldrin," Slater said. "The top item in that category was the page of handwritten notes and scriptures that Aldrin took with him to the lunar surface, a piece of both space exploration and religious history that sold for $179,250. It was Aldrin's intent to take Communion on the moon, which he did, and to broadcast a brief reading of Scripture back to Earth, which he did not do at the request of NASA, as the agency was at the time embroiled in a lawsuit brought by noted atheist Madalyne Murray O'Hair regarding a similar reading on a previous flight. NASA wished to accommodate Aldrin as much as they felt was prudent, so a compromise was worked out whereby Aldrin would ask for a moment of silence, during which there would be a black-out of the otherwise continuous transmission from the surface, and he conducted his brief service, unbeknownst to the public at that time, during that blackout. Nevertheless, this unique document remains a fascinating testament to one man's faith during one of the most important and exciting events in human history."

Slater continued, "Other items of note in this auction included Aldrin's Apollo 11 slide rule, an instrument he took with him in case of computer malfunction, which brought $77,675, a US flag carried to the moon by Neil Armstrong that realized $56,762, and a Russian Sokol spacesuit, complete in every detail, which sold for $17,925. Also of interest was the common 1923-S Peace dollar that Aldrin took with him on Apollo 11. Not only did this piece bring $31,070, far beyond what it could ever have hoped to realize without its impressive pedigree, but it engendered quite a bit of cross-bidding activity from our coin clients."

"Actually, items related to Apollo 11 sold very strongly in all categories," Slater said. "For example, we had two examples of the Apollo11 Robbins medal, both space flown, and at $19,120 and $15,535 respectively, both exceeded the previous record price of $12K, according to Howard Weinberger, Heritage's Senior Space Consultant."

"Of course, not everything in this auction was space-related," Slater said. "We also offered a magnificent collection of material documenting the early days of aviation, much of it from the personal collection of Cliff Henderson, the managing director of the National Air Races from 1928 until 1939. Impressive results were obtained by such items as a striking signed portrait of Charles Lindbergh, which sold for $3,883, a large archive of Amelia Earhart press photos that realized $2,629, and an autograph book from the 1936 National Air Races signed by such luminaries as Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, Gary Cooper, Cliff Edwards, Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, James Stewart, and Robert Young, as well as a note from aviatrix Amelia Earhart. The autograph book also brought $2,629."

"This sale marked Heritage's first foray into the fascinating field of air and space," Slater said, "a market in which we intend to be extremely active in the months and years to come."

Buzz Aldrin - Handwritten Notes and Scriptures Flown to the Surface of the Moon:
REALIZED: $179,250

Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Slide Rule - Flown to the Moon: 
REALIZED: $77,675

A Section of Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Mission Flown Descent Monitoring Chart, Signed & Annotated by Aldrin:
REALIZED: $71,700

U.S. Flag Carried on the Moon by Neil Armstrong:
REALIZED: $56,762

Buzz Aldrin's Space Flown Cutting Tool Used on the Apollo 11 Mission, With Original Velcro Still Attached:
REALIZED: $31,070

Buzz Aldrin's 1923-S Peace Silver Dollar Flown to the Moon Aboard Apollo 11:
REALIZED: $31,070

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Space Flown Book by Robert Goddard:
REALIZED: $29,875

Apollo 11 Signed Flown Commemorative Cover with Notation by Buzz Aldrin:
REALIZED: $26,290

Apollo 11 Flown Robbins Sterling Silver Medallion, numbered 390 of 450 flown, presented to Joe Garino by Michael Collins:
REALIZED: $19,120

Original Russian Sokol Spacesuit: e_No=669&Lot_No=25329&type=prte-pr092107a
REALIZED: $17,925

Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Flown Signed Beta Cloth Bag:
REALIZED: $16,730

Project Mercury Spacecraft Signed Color Poster:
REALIZED: $15,535

Apollo 11 Flown Robbins Medallion From the Buzz Aldrin Collection:
REALIZED: $15,535

Beautiful Charles Lindbergh Signed Photograph in Gorgeous Silver Frame:
REALIZED: $3,883

Large Archive of Early Amelia Earhart Press Photos:
REALIZED: $2,629

Star-Studded 1936 National Air Races Autograph Book:
REALIZED: $2,629

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