Neil Armstrong and Madonna star in online books and photography sale

Later today, Gray's auctioneers in Cleveland, Ohio are holding an interesting sale of books, photos and autographs with something to appeal to everyone.

Space and aviation fans have two particularly exciting lots to look out for:  a first edition (second printing) of Amelia Earhart's 20 Hrs. 40 Min. Our Flight in the Friendship, which is signed by the aviatrix and author herself, inscribed "For Bruce Hartman with best wishes Amelia Earhart".

First edition Apollo book signed by moonwalkers
First edition Apollo book signed by Neil Armstrong and others

For those looking higher still than Earhart, there is a first edition of Apollo Expeditions to the Moon which is reportedly signed by 13 astronauts and NASA officials including moonwalkers Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Charles Conrad and Harrison Schmitt, as well Rusty Schweickart and Apollo 11's Michael Collins.

The two lots are listed at $800-1,200 and $2,000-$3,000 respectively, both of which seem a little low - they would make strong investments at those prices. Autographs from both Earhart and moonwalkers including Armstrong are also available elsewhere.

For Madonna memorabilia/photography collectors there is a first edition of Herb Ritts's Duo, A Book of Photographs featuring former Mr Universe Bob Paris and Madonna Nudes 1979 including numerous black and white photographic plates. The work is estimated at just $100.

Madonna topless Photograph

Collectors who would like a signed nude picture of Madonna - an unusual combination - need look no further than here.

The sale is lead by a first edition of Sir Henry James Warre's Sketches in North America and the Oregon Territory. An 1848 work with stunning views of the Pacific North-West, Warre's works are well-regarded: "the only western color plates comparable in beauty to those by Bodmer" according to art critic Howes.

Sir Henry James Warre landscape
Sir Henry James Warre landscape

Warre's work is nevertheless not what it seems. He was dispatched in 1845 to Oregon when the governance of the region by Great Britain and the United States was becoming increasingly uneasy. He was supposed to act effectively as a spy to determine the likelihood of war, whilst playing the part of a gentleman of leisure.

The fabulous work is listed at $70,000-90,000. Gray's auction closes in a matter of hours, but there's still time enough to bid online.


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