DALLAS – The vast personal collection of Neil Armstrong, who as the first man to walk on the moon changed the course of human history, will be presented in a series of auctions beginning Nov. 1-2, 2018 by Heritage Auctions. The Armstrong Family Collection will offer never-before-seen artifacts from his momentous lunar landing to private mementos – including pieces of a wing and propeller from the 1903 Wright Brothers flight that Armstrong took with him to the moon, a gold pin from Gemini VIII, Armstrong’s first mission, and historic correspondence about the planning that went into the moon mission. The auctions will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission.
“There will be flown items, autographed items and items of historical significance,” son Mark Armstrong said. “There will be items that make you think, items that make you laugh and items that make you scratch your head.”
On July 20, 1969, a global audience was glued to their TVs, as Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface with his now legendary words: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The event marked a new era for humanity, and established the United States’ technological dominance and influence as a superpower.
Armstrong Family collection highlights
Among the highlights of the 2,000-plus items in the Armstrong Family Collection:
Apollo 11 Robbins Medallions, including a rare gold example, which were flown on the famous lunar landing mission. Minted by the Robbins Company, of Attleboro, Massachusetts, the sterling silver medallions were paid for by the crews and available for purchase only by NASA astronauts.
A Purdue University Centennial, 1869-1969, Silk Flag, flown on Apollo 11 and carried by Armstrong to the moon. Purdue was Armstrong’s beloved alma mater.
A gold pin flown on Gemini VIII, Armstrong’s first spaceflight. A damaged thruster almost cost Armstrong and his fellow crewmember their lives, but Armstrong guided the spacecraft safely back to earth.
Armstrong’s Boy Scouts Cap. Armstrong became an Eagle Scout—the organization’s highest rank—at the age of 17.
To prepare the collection for auction, the Armstrong family is collaborating with Collectibles Authentication Guaranty, a firm tasked with preserving and documenting the collection’s authenticity and provenance. The firm, a member of the Certified Collectibles Group, is working in conjunction with Heritage Auctions to ensure every item from the collection is photographed and cataloged so that, if needed, they can be referenced later for research or any other purpose.
The Armstrong Family Collection debuts at auction Nov. 1-2, 2018 at Heritage Auctions. Heritage Auctions has scheduled two additional auctions for the collection: May 9-10, 2019 and November 2019.