As Paul himself has often said, space collectibles are one of the greatest testaments to mankind's bravery outside of war medals and militaria. In fact, that's one of the many reasons why we so strongly endorse space memorabilia here at Paul Fraser Collectibles...
And further evidence of the unsung bravery behind the Space Race is emerging at Regency Superior's upcoming Space, Coins, Autographs and Collectibles auction on June 10. The sale will take place is St Louis, Missouri, US.
No-one was more grimly aware of the dangers of Apollo 11's perilous mission than its crew, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. In the event of a fatal accident during the mission, each man stood to leave a fatherless family back home.
For this reason, a number of "insurance covers" were signed by the astronauts before they left for the Moon. It was a given that the first men on the Moons' autographs would hold plenty of value in future years, and that this could benefit their families in the event of an accident.
In the event of an accident... This 'insurance cover' bears Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin's signatures and carries a high-estimate of $7,000
Fast-forward to the present day, and these autographed postal covers can sell for significant sums at auction - particularly as Neil Armstrong is today the world's rarest living signature (up in value by 981.8% over the last 10 years) since he stopped signing autographs in the 1990s.One such cover will appear in Regency Superior's sale. Described as "gorgeous", the cover is boldly signed by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins in blue felt tip. Adding to the value is the date of the cover's cancellation stamp. It was stamped in Houston, Texas, on the day of lunar landing: July 20, 1969.
Alongside the cancellation is an 8¢ postage stamp which commemorates Apollo 8, whose crew were the first-ever to orbit the Moon and return safely to Earth. Other features on the cover include a NASA Manned Spacecraft Center Stamp Club full-colour cachet on the postcard's left.
Needless to say, this piece is a must-see for collectors. Even better, this signed cover is the first of just three known examples of its kind from the Apollo 11 mission. In other words, extreme rarity should further boost its value, alongside great provenance and historical significance.
Previously, this near-identical cover also signed by the crew (but with a later date stamp) was sold by Heritage Auctions for $26,290...
The cover is estimated at $7,000. Yet this estimate seems pretty conservative given that Heritage Auctions sold another of these covers for $26,290back in November 2010. Also bearing an 8¢ "Apollo 8" stamp, that specimen's cancellation was added at a later date on August 11, 1969, at Webster, Texas.
Stamped beneath the cancellation was the text: "Delayed In Quarantine At/ Lunar Receiving Laboratory/ M.S.C. - Houston, Texas."
Whether you're a seasoned space collector, or new to the great pleasure and profit that Space Race collectibles can bring, Regency Superior's sale promises an unmissable opportunity for you to acquire a bona fide piece of history - and also a great alternative asset.
The sale will take place on June 10. Online bidding is also available. Watch this space for more news on the auction.
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