Admirers of Neil Armstrong and space exploration have the opportunity to own artifacts and memories that belonged to the modest man who became a global hero by becoming the first human being to walk on the moon.
Armstrong’s personal collection, which died in his native Ohio in 2012, will be offered for sale at a series of auctions run by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, which will begin on November 1 and 2 and continue in May and November. 2019
The collection includes a variety of 1969 lunar landing artifacts from Armstrong and private memorabilia that include parts of a wing and a flying helix from Wright Brothers of 1903 that the astronaut took with him to the moon.
Other items that went to the moon with Armstrong include a US flag. The largest size that is usually flown during the Apollo missions; a flag of the United Nations; several state indicators; and some Robbins medallions. The sterling silver medallions were paid for by Apollo mission crews and were available for purchase only by NASA astronauts. The Armstrong collection also includes a rare gold medallion.
Among the most personal items to be auctioned are a centennial flag from Purdue University of Armstrong’s alma mater that traveled on Apollo 11 and his Boy Scout cap.
Armstrong’s son, Mark Armstrong, said his father never talked to him about what he wanted to do with the large number of items he kept.
“I do not think I spent a lot of time thinking about that,” Armstrong said. “He kept all the items, so he obviously felt it was worth saving them.”
Armstrong, who lives in the suburbs of Cincinnati, said his father kept all his articles “flown” together.
Faced with the responsibility of preserving, preserving and securing irreplaceable elements and honoring his father’s legacy, Armstrong and his brother, Rick, discovered that some things needed restoration and that some required that the research be properly identified.
“We felt that the number of people who could help us identify them and give us the historical context was decreasing and that the problem of understanding that context would only get worse over time,” he said.
Armstrongs turned to Sarasota, Florida Collectibles Authentication Guaranty for help with the preservation and authentication of artifacts and souvenirs and chose Heritage Auctions for sales.
Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions, said he handles numerous categories of collectibles that attract several collectors, but the articles related to the space seem to have a universal appeal.
“Space is one of the very, very few categories in which every person seems to be interested,” Rohan said. “You show someone something about the space program and they’re fascinated with it.”
Offers can be taken online, by phone or in person.