Alongside the many stamp lots in the first session of the sale are three covers with the signatures of pioneering cosmonauts.
First is a first day cover with a stamp depicting cosmonaut Andriyan Nikolayev on an envelope illustrated with the symbols of his Vostock 3 flight.
The piece, which is in extremely fine condition, is clearly postmarked but not addressed and bears his clear black signature above the artwork.
Also appearing in the sale is an extremely fine first day cover with three stamps, each depicting one of the three cosmonauts of the later Voskhod I mission: Vladimir Komarov, Konstantin Focktistov & Boris Yegorov.
Again, the envelope is one with mission specific artwork and postmark, but no address. Each of the cosmonauts has signed below their stamp.
Perhaps the best piece of all is a cover commemorating Vostock 6 (the last of that series of missions, before the Voshkhod ones began). That mission saw the first woman in space: Valentina Tereshkova.
This cover, again in great condition is actually addressed. The mission symbols are simply stamped on, and the stamps do not specifically depict Tereshkova, but her signature appears clearly in the centre of the envelope. The auction takes place on March 30.
Collectors interested in the autographs of space pioneers may wish to take a look at these pieces signed by the Apollo 11 crew (including Neil Armstrong) and other moonwalkers - even Buzz Aldrin’s signed spacesuit.
The first British woman in space - who flew to a Russian space station - was Helen Sharman. More on her story here.
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Image: Earl P L Apfelbaum