Space memorabilia auction hits $1 million mark in New York

Wed Apr 9, 2014 4:18pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An emblem that traveled with U.S. astronauts on the 1969 Apollo moon flight and a check list from that historic mission were the top-selling items in a sale of space memorabilia, Bonhams auction house said on Wednesday.

Nearly 300 space enthusiasts and collectors, ranging in age from their late 20s upwards, from 17 countries on four continents bid by telephone, Internet or in person in New York on Tuesday.

The auction took in $1 million, with 80 percent of the 300 items sold.

"Space memorabilia is something that has broad appeal and you don't have to be a specialist to be excited about space exploration," Cassandra Hatton, senior space specialist at Bonhams in New York, said.

"It is something that people dream of when they are kids. A lot of children dreamed of being an astronaut. It is a very personal kind of collecting area," she added.

The Apollo 11 checklist sheet with data recorded by crew member Buzz Aldrin while on the moon rocketed past it pre-sale estimate of $45,000 and sold for $68,750.

Another top seller was an emblem showing an eagle with an olive branch above the moon's surface that was identical to the ones worn on the spacesuits of the crew.

It fetched $62,500, slightly more than the top estimate, and was signed by the astronauts - Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins - on the historic mission.   Continued...