What king of Space Collectibles is there on the market ?
If you’ve been keeping one eye on the news, it’s safe to say you’ve come across a story or two about the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. NASA collectibles remain hot, with this most recent anniversary giving the industry a nice boost.
It doesn’t matter if you’re starting your NASA collection or adding to it, there are a variety of collectibles to consider. Here are a few of the most common:
· Space Vintage photos : The main NASA photos, the one most people are familiar with, . While either of these photos makes a great collectors item, don’t overlook those associated with specific missions, such as flights of the Mercury, Gemini, Skylab, and Apollo.
· Lunar meteorites: You may never step foot on the moon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t own a part of it. A lunar meteorite is one that originated on the moon, making it extremely collectible. While these meteorites are rare, there are enough going around that you can purchase a piece for $100 or less.
· Space artifacts: These are among the most unique items, as they’re typically associated with anything that’s flown in space. For example, a tool or training manual that was used during a particular mission.
You never know what you’ll find when you begin your search for NASA collectibles. Do you remember the story of the NASA intern who purchased three bundles of magnetic videotape, including a broadcast of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking their first steps on the moon? The intern spent $217.77 on the tapes in 1976. Today, it was sold for 1.8 million dollars !
If you’re interested in adding to your NASA collection, start with our site. And of course, keep your eyes open for those that are unique!
What is a vintage NASA photograph ?
The photographs on this website are guaranteed as vintage NASA or Soviet prints, processed by NASA’s photographic laboratories shortly after the date of the scene depicted. As contemporary, original prints of pictures taken by astronaut-photographers such as Neil Armstrong, they are very rare and difficult to find, especially in good condition.
Generally speaking, vintage NASA photographs were printed on fibre-based photographic paper, 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 in). Most are printed on “A Kodak Paper”, a watermark which changed in 1972. Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are glossy prints on paper. The NASA reference numbers within square brackets do not appear on the prints and are provided for reference.
All photographs are sold as seen. Prices exclude framing.
How many of them are there?
NASA produced master duplicates of all negatives after each mission, while the originals were locked away in cold store. From the master duplicates photographs were printed and distributed for the use of NASA’s own scientists and public relations department. In subsequent years, NASA destroyed many of these original prints as they were archived on the internet and true vintage prints are subsequently hard to find. Vintage NASA photographs are not ‘editioned’ in any conventional sense, and there is an unknown but certainly finite number of them in open circulation.
Because NASA had several processing centres and each print was produced on demand, no two are ever identical, meaning each one is unique. The location of the red NASA number, the presence or not of a purple caption on the verso, any annotations or other marks, the ageing of the colour and the condition of the print can all vary to a significant degree.
We only ever stock one print of a particular image at any time and, generally speaking, once it's gone, it's gone. While we refresh our inventory periodically, there can be a substantial wait to replace most images, if they can even be replaced at all.
What are the red (or black/blue) NASA numbers?
These typically refer to the mission name or number, such as AS11 for Apollo 11, the magazine number and frame number. The majority of prints have a red, blue or black NASA number printed near the image on the front of the print, but by no means all of them. The unique NASA number for each image can be used to search for further information on NASA's websites.
What are the purple stamps on the back of some photographs?
Some, roughly a third, are printed on the reverse in purple ink with the NASA logo, the issuing centre, the identification number (mission-film magazine-frame), the date the picture was taken and an explanatory caption. Colour (chromogenic) prints on heavier weight paper are commonly blank on the back, as were certain print runs made for internal use or for the agency’s subcontracting firms.
How do these differ from photographs signed by NASA astronauts or other space memorabilia ?
Most, if not all, signed photographs are very recent prints or copies, not vintage
Are all astronaut autographs authentic?
Can you give an exemple of real / fake authograph of Niel Armstrong ?
One easy way to spot a forgery of Neil Armstrong : After examining hundreds of Armstrong autographs, we determined that the famous astronaut never wrote over the American flag on the sleeve of his spacesuit. If the ink touches the flag in the picture, it's probably fake.
Also, in the 1970s and 1980s, Armstrong signed in blue ink many of the autograph requests that were sent to his office. The ink is now beginning to fade, prompting fears that many authentic Armstrong autographs will literally disappear in the coming years.
Early pre-NASA models highlight a total and progressively nitty gritty mark. Obviously during this time period, Armstrong was not being deluged with signature demands.
When he joined NASA, interest for Neil Armstrong's signature expanded and he started utilizing an abridged form of his last name.
We're experts. We've sold more authentic astronaut autographs than anyone, and so we recognize autopens (which are easy) and forgeries (which take a more experienced eye). Other astronaut autographs we obtain from other sellers, auctions, estate sales, etc. which we determine after careful study, to be authentic. We supply many other astronaut autograph dealers with our goods, because they know our reputation,
Online auction houses are an easy mark for these items. Although some good astronaut autographs may be had there, it is a scary place for the inexperienced autograph collector. eBay abounds with bad forgeries, copies, but because of its "buyer beware" hands-off policy, customers have little recourse.
How do you set your prices?
Our prices generally make sense in relation to the average price for comparable prints sold at recent auctions including buyer's premium. While there can be significant variation in the price paid for certain images we endeavour to ensure our prices are reasonable, fair and logical, given the rarity, condition and quality of the print in question. There is also a noticeable discrepancy between the value of highly sought-after iconic images - such as the Apollo 8 'Earthrise', Apollo 11 'Visor' and Apollo 17 'Blue Marble' - and more prosaic, functional images.
Which auction houses sell vintage NASA photographs?