CAG certified the historic provenance of dozens of Space Race collectibles in the December 2022 auction.
Many historic Space Race artifacts from the personal collection of astronaut Michael Collins that have been certified by Collectibles Authentication Guaranty (CAG) are being offered in an auction this month. Bidding is already underway for the Space Exploration Signature Auction presented by Heritage Auctions, which is scheduled for December 15-16, 2022.
Collins flew the Apollo 11 command module Columbia around the moon in 1969 while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took humanity’s first steps on the lunar surface. Collins’ only other trip to space was the Gemini 10 mission in 1966, during which he became the first person to perform two spacewalks. He passed away in 2021.
Rocketing to the top of the auction is an Apollo 11 and Gemini 10 Flown U.S. Flag, signed by Michael Collins (lot 50059). This silk U.S. flag is the largest size typically flown by Apollo missions. It is inscribed in black ink: “Carried aboard Gemini X, a world altitude record in 1966, and to the moon on the first lunar landing, Apollo XI, July 1969. Michael Collins Gemini X PILOT, APOLLO XI CMP.”
Another CAG-certified highlight in the auction is an Apollo 11 Flown Robbins Medal graded MS-66 with Serial Number 32 (lot 50060). Flown aboard the historic Apollo 11 mission, these medals were specially struck for the astronauts. This one includes the Apollo 11 mission insignia of an eagle landing on the moon, which was conceptualized by Collins. The medals show the eagle’s claws open, but NASA ultimately opted for an insignia that showed the eagle in a more peaceful manner, clutching an olive branch.
Also available is a CAG-certified Apollo 11 Flown Crew-Signed Beta Cloth with Mission Insignia (lot 50062). This six-inch-by-six-inch swatch of Beta cloth, signed by Michael Collins, was flown aboard the Apollo 11 mission to the moon and later signed by Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins. Beta cloth is made from fire-safe Fiberglass Beta yarns.
CAG also certified an Apollo 11 Crew-Signed Flown “Type One” Quarantine Cover (lot 50067). This philatelic commemorative flew to the moon on Apollo 11 and was quarantined with the astronauts after their return to Earth. When it was released from quarantine, its six-cent Apollo 8 stamp was canceled at a nearby post office.
CAG is an expert and impartial certification service that authenticates and preserves the provenance of collectibles, memorabilia, and estate items at the source. To call attention to their important provenance, the items in the Personal Collection of Michael Collins were encapsulated with a special CAG label that includes the mission insignias from Gemini 10 and Apollo 11.
Other CAG-certified collectibles from Collins’ collection in this auction include:
- an Apollo 11 Crew-Signed Flown “Type One” Quarantine Cover (lot 50061)
- an Apollo 11 Flown Flight Plan Page from the Command Modulate Pilot Solo Book with Handwritten Notes (lot 50063)
- an Apollo 11 Flown U.S. Flag — 4 x 6 inches, Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50064)
- a Apollo 11 Flown Personal Preference Kit Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50066)
- an Apollo 11 Flown United Nations Flag — 4x 6 inches, Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50065)
- an Apollo 11 Insurance Cover — Type One (lot 50070)
- an Apollo 11 Flown Facsimilie Space Treaty Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50068)
- an Apollo 10 Flown Robbins Medal graded MS-66 with Serial Number 259 (lot 50085)
- an Apollo 11 Flown Flight Data File Clip Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50069)
- an Apollo 11 Crew-Signed Michael Collins Correspondence from Henry M. Jackson (lot 50071)
Press release courtesy of the Numismatic Guaranty Company