A bag Neil Armstrong used to collect samples of Moon rock from the lunar surface could become the most valuable piece of space memorabilia ever sold.
The lot is set to cross the block at Sotheby’s inaugural space memorabilia sale in New York on July 20 (the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing).
The bag originally contained around 500g of Moon rock
Vice president and senior specialist Cassandra Hatton said: “This seemingly modest bag was part of mankind’s greatest journey, and played a crucial role in the single most important scientific task of the Apollo 11 mission – to bring back the very first sample of lunar material ever collected.
“To be able to see such an object in person is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“It is one thing to read about going to the moon; it is quite another to hold in one’s hands an object that was actually there, and that still carries traces of that faraway place.”
The present owner of the bag acquired it for $995 at the government auction of curator Max Ary’s collection in 2015.
Ary, who used to run the Cosmosphere space museum in Hutchinson, Kansas, was convicted of theft of artefacts in 2006.
It later transpired this particular lot had been sold by accident, but a judge ruled in the new owner’s favour.
It’s now valued at $2m-4m, which puts it well over the record $1.8m paid for astronaut Dave Scott’s Bulova wristwatch (worn during the Apollo 15 mission).
Even if it only hits the lowest estimate, that’s an increase of 200,905%.
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