Apollo 11 Astronaut Inscribed Book & Letter

Value (2009) | $5,000 Auction$7,500 Auction

GUEST:
This is a book called First on the Moon.

APPRAISER:
Right.

GUEST:
It was a gift from my dad. He bought it in 1970. And starting in 1985, he worked with Neil Armstrong on a space commission. He had Neil autograph it. And after that, he followed up and had Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin autograph it. And he got an autograph from Arthur C. Clarke, which is on the back side of that page.

APPRAISER:
And he wrote the epilogue, right, of the book?

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRIASER: That's fabulous. I mean, what's so nice about the book is the three inscriptions, as you mentioned. You've got Neil Armstrong, the most well-known, and then Buzz Aldrin right there. And then Michael Collins, probably the least well-known of the three. Here's the letter from your father to Michael Collins asking for the book to be signed. So, it's like a compilation. He was able to amass the three signatures, and then he added Arthur C. Clarke to give it an extra little bonus. And this here is a letter from Neil Armstrong to your dad.

GUEST:
Right. My dad was really interested in writing a biography of Neil Armstrong, so he had actually approached Neil about writing the biography with him. And Neil, I think, got that offer quite a bit, and he, at the time, was busy with his company, so he turned my dad down.

APPRAISER:
He turned him down?

GUEST:
Yeah. He often did that, we think.

APPRAISER:
Yeah. But when there's a connection, like your dad had, it really gives a closeness, a directness of the inscription. It's much more personalized, as you can tell in the letter. And also, what he's written here in the book-- which I think is fabulous-- is, "Richard, one day some Americans will live on the moon. Perhaps you'll be one of them." Which is fabulous. And the book was published in 1970, so it was just the following year after the moon walk. Right after the landing. When we talk about value, the book itself, without any of the inscriptions, would be pretty nominal. What really is the value is the presentation and the signatures of the three astronauts. You've got that really nice note to it. And we would... auction estimate, the book itself, at $4,000 to $6,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
The letter here from Neil, we would estimate that at $1,000 to $1,500.

GUEST:
Wow.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Christie's
New York, NY
Appraised value (2009)
$5,000 Auction$7,500 Auction
Event
Madison, WI (July 11, 2009)
Period
20th Century
Material
Paper

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