Astronaut Walt Cunningham’s collection of International Space Station (ISS) Robbins medals will cross the block at RR Auction.
Cunningham started the tradition of Robbins medals for space flights.
As the lunar module pilot for the Apollo 7 mission (1968), he took a sketch of the mission insignia to a Florida jeweller.
The complete set of ISS medals span the past 16 years
The jeweller suggested he speak to the Robbins Company, based in Attleboro, Massachusetts. A tradition was born and each manned NASA flight to date has produced its own medal.
Needless to say, they are highly prized pieces of space memorabilia.
The top prices are reserved for those that were actually flown on a mission. An Apollo 17 flown medal (one of only 80 taken aboard) realised $58,546 in 2012.
The present collection is unflown, but represents an unbroken run from the last 16 years.
ISS medals are difficult to get hold of, in part because they were struck in smaller numbers than Apollo exampls. This is the only complete collection ever offered.
It’s valued at at least $40,000, a figure it could easily double given the right buyer.
The auction house comments: “Robbins medallions for the missions to the International Space Station are hardly ever available, even by themselves - this complete set is thus a truly remarkable offering.
“Originating from Cunningham himself, these International Space Station Expedition medallions are not only extremely rare but represent the legacy of the famous NASA collectible he established.”
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