Signed Apollo 11 'insurance' stamp cover could net $8,000

Space collectors will be over the Moon as Heritage Auction Galleries' Grand Format Space Exploration Auction lifts off tomorrow (April 21).

Valuable and coveted memorabilia in the sale include a cheque bearing Neil Armstrong's signature, an Apollo 11 silver Robbins medallion, and the nametag of the Apollo 14 Moon explorer Edgar Mitchell.

Also featured among the lots is a very crucial stamp - one for collectors with a passion for philately as well as space history...

Apollo 11 was the first flight in which insurance covers were used. They were produced for the crew to sign together in pre-flight quarantine, shortly before their launch to the Moon.

The covers were then left with the astronauts' families as a form of insurance in the event that the brave crew should fail to return from their perilous mission.

Some of the covers were postmarked at the Cape on July 16, 1969, the day of launch, with the remainder postmarked in Houston on July 20, 1969, the day of the landing.

This cover (6.5" x 3.625") postmarked Houston, Texas on July 20, 1969, is affixed with an Apollo 8" 6¢ stamp and signed by all three Apollo 11 crewmen.

The Apollo 11 insurance cover, left with the astronauts' families before
their brave ascent

The blue felt tipped signatures of "Neil Armstrong," "Michael Collins" and "Buzz Aldrin" are each in excellent condition, and the cover has been consigned from the personal collection of Dr Aldrin himself.

Also sold with a letter of authenticity from Aldrin, the cover is estimated at $6,000-$8,000.

Shrewd collectors and investors around the world will have their eyes on this lot. Neil Armstrong's signature is one of the very best autograph investments on the market, with prices for his signature rising 1,000% over the past decade.

In other space collectibles news, Bonhams Space History sale - timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Apollo 13 - skyrocketed to success, last week.

The star lot was another Neil Armstrong-signed manuscript: an Apollo 11 flight plan inscribed with the words "One small step for a man—one giant leap for mankind."

The Armstrong-inscribed piece sold for a remarkable $152,000.


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