Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 118

The Nov 14-15, 2020 Collectibles Auction

Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 839
Important, NASA Mercury era Hasselblad Camera and Film Magazine from the Dick Underwood Collection with LOA. This Hasselblad 70mm camera is an off the shelf model purchased by NASA in the very early days of the manned space program. This is one of only 4 Mercury era cameras known to exist. One is in the National Air & Space Museum and the other 2 are in private collections. This camera was part of the personal collection of Dick Underwood who headed NASA's photography division and was responsible for development of all cameras used on manned missions from Mercury through the early days of the Shuttle program. Underwood personally trained all astronauts who flew in the Twentieth Century on photography techniques. How to use the cameras, how to get the best photographs and to some degree, what to photograph.

Based on close examination and research of this camera by experts in the U.S. and Germany here are some important facts:

A.) This is an off the shelf Hasselblad 500C camera modified for NASA use.

B.) The camera body was manufactured in 1958. The other 3 Mercury cameras were manufactured in 1957 (1x) and 1958 (2x). The film magazine is dated 1959.

C.) The flash shoe on the side of the camera was added. This was used to hold the ring sight, which was used to aim the camera more precisely than just point and shoot.

D.) All Leatherette was removed from all 4 cameras to save weight and because NASA was concerned about "off-gassing" of the Leatherette and adhesive.

E.) The camera body and film magazine are both painted black and all 4 Mercury cameras show extensive peeling of the paint. The black paint was used to minimize reflections.

F.) The film magazine has a paper sticker with the letters "A, B, C, D" on the side. This is the same as the film magazines accompanying the other 3 Mercury bodies. As best as can be determined the letters were used either as reminders for the astronauts or in relation to the film magazines they carried.

G.) This camera does not have the mirror inside the body. It was removed to save weight since it would not be used. This is the same as one of the Mercury cameras currently in a private collection. It is unknown if the camera in the National Air & space Museum or the other privately owned one has the mirror. (The 500C is a reflex camera and the image normally goes onto the mirror and then to the viewfinder. Since the camera was used in flight with a sight ring the mirror was not needed.)

H.) The serial numbers on at least 3 of the Mercury cameras are similar and unusual for Hasselblad. They all end with the letter "B" and include the word "SERVICE"

I.) The fact that there is no NASA part number on either the body or magazine supports its acquisition during the Mercury program. (NASA specified that part numbers be added for camera's bought and modified for Gemini.)

J.) This camera and the other 3 known Mercury cameras still have the neck strap "attachment lugs" on both sides of the body present. In contrast, all Gemini 500C cameras had the lug ground down to remove it.

K.) Gemini cameras were also Hasselblad 500C camera bodies modified specifically for the Gemini program based on experience with the earlier models. One difference not present on this camera or the other three Mercury cameras is that the Gemini cameras have a metal plate over the viewfinder housing and the top of the body has been milled to a flat surface.

While we will never know if this camera was flown -- based on its age, the key factors described above, the fact that Dick Underwood trained all Gemini astronauts in photography it most certainly was at least used for training the Gemini astronauts. It may have also been used for training the latter Mercury crews and even Apollo crews. In addition, Underwood kept this camera and magazine secured in his safety deposit box with other important space memorabilia attesting to it historic importance and value. LOA by Robert Underwood. Estimated Value $9,500 - UP
Extensive Research and Catalog Description by Sandy Clarkson, The Right Stuff Inc.

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Lot 840
Project Mercury: Space Suit Helmet Visor Seal Pressure Bottle and Hose Used to Inflate and Seal Helmet Faceplate, Rare. From Project Mercury, a rare pressure bottle with hose assembly, a once integral component of the Mercury spacesuit. The bottle was pressurized to 2100 psi and could be recharged. It was used to automatically inflate and seal the helmet visor faceplate when the astronaut manually closed the visor to maintain the suit's pressure integrity. The visor seal system connector was located on the lower left area of the helmet assembly. The Firewel Co. developed this system and a tape notation to the canister says it was reconditioned on 12/62. A fantastic artifact for every level of collector. Comes with history and information including a photo of John Glenn's helmet, gloves, boots and a similar pressure bottle with hose. Estimated Value $3,500 - UP
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Lot 841
  Withdrawn Unsold
Lot 842
Mercury & Gemini Astronaut Autographed Photos/Covers, 13 Signed Pieces. Celebrating the astronauts who participated in the Mercury and Gemini programs; 17 signed pieces. 1.) Four pieces signed by John Glenn: signed portrait wearing stylish bow-tie and Mercury 7 lapel pin, a signed B&W photo sitting outside his Friendship 7 capsule, two signed covers (one a commemorative Man In Space issue) each post marked Port Canaveral Feb 20, 1962 the day of launch and both signed by John Glenn 2.) Two covers each signed by Gordon Cooper one commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Cooper's Mercury 9 mission, 22 orbits postmarked May 16, 1973 exactly 10 years after the mission, the other commemorating Gemini V Atlantic Recovery Force postmarked Aug 29, 1965 on the James C. Owens. 3.) Two photos each signed by Alan Shepard one color and one in B&W during his Mercury Freedom 7 period. 4.) John Young signed cover postmarked February 20, 1962 Cape Canaveral, First Day Issue of Project Mercury Stamps and his senior portrait in blue coveralls signed and inscribed. Young famously walked the moon on Apollo 16. 5.) Tom Stafford signed commemorative cover for the US Navy Recovery Force for Gemini 6 postmarked 12/16/65. 6.) Frank Borman of Gemini 7 has signed two color photos and we wanted to include him in this collection one photo is from Apollo 8 and signed across his white space suit. The other is years later when Borman became Chairman of the Board of Eastern Airlines. He remains the oldest living American astronaut. Quite the diversity of images here signed by the men who made them happen and all in excellent condition. Estimated Value $750 - UP
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Lot 843
Project Mercury Collection: Six Signed Photos: Alan Shepard, Wally Schirra (x4) and Deke Slayton Plus One Unsigned Mercury 7 Astronauts Photo. Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program which actively began in 1958 through 1963. The objectives of the program, which made six manned flights from 1961 to 1963, were specific: 1.) To orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth 2.) To investigate man's ability to function in space 3.) To recover both man and spacecraft safely. Here a collection of six signed photos from that historic program. One signed photo of Mercury-Redstone 3 Liftoff (NASA reprint), One re-strike portrait of a young Deke Slayton (who famously did not get to fly until ASTP due to atrial fibrillation) 4.) Four images signed by Wally Schirra two color portraits both signed "Wally Schirra, Sigma 7" the name of his Mercury Atlas-8 capsule and two vintage B&W original 8 x 10" photos signed dated 1962 that are absolutely fantastic. Finally a re-strike color portrait of the Mercury-7 Astronauts lined up in front of an Air Force F-102 jet unsigned. Estimated Value $600 - UP
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Lot 844
Random, Wonderful Collection of 140 Photographs, Mixture B&W and Color, Many with Red Serial Numbers. A Great Many Quite Scarce if Not Unique. From the collection of a former NASA employee a small but immensely appealing collection 140 of 8 x 10" photographs from Mercury to Apollo representing a 60/40 mix of B&W and color, with some of the color having red serial numbers. The early collection has been well kept in two medium sized binders. What sets this collection apart when examining every photo is just how rarely seen if it all many of the images are. There are candid photos, training photos, photos of astronauts on field missions, a great number of superb photos in Mission Control, lunar sample testing photos but the standouts are the men of Mercury and Gemini, in rarely seen photos, looking impossibly young. The minor issue with this collection of photos is that they have 3 punched holes almost all in the white borders of photographs and housed in two three ring binders. Otherwise the photos are in overall excellent condition with a great majority having written or printed information on verso. Estimated Value $500 - UP
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Lot 845
John Glenn Collection, Six Autographed Pieces Including an Outstanding U.S. Air Force Re-Strike from April 9, 1959, First 7 Astronauts Selected. John Glenn (1921-2016) boasting a career as a Marine Corp fighter pilot in WWII, China and Korea, a test pilot, then selected as part of the Mercury 7 by NASA, followed an impressive 25 years as Senator from Ohio, then against all odds, flew back to space at age 77 on Shuttle Discovery. Offered are six diverse pieces signed by Glenn. 1.) Favorite is an original re-strike photo issued by the U.S. Air Force of the Mercury 7 dated April 9, 1959 with official press information on verso, two signed covers, a reprint photo in his Mercury 7 space suit and a reprint from July, 1960 of desert survival training, Stead Air Force Base (closed in 1966) and a signed trading card. Estimated Value $500 - UP
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Lot 846
Mercury: Flown Ablative Heat Shield Removed From Uncertain Manned Mission, Impeccable Provenance with COA. From Project Mercury a 1 x 1 x 1" section of heat shield removed from a manned Mercury spacecraft after it completed its orbital mission. After recovery, the spacecraft was processed by NASA and several sections removed to determine performance during re-entry phase. Superb COA with information and signed by William Whipkey well known for his ephemera during his decades at NASA. Estimated Value $500 - UP
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Lot 847
Scott Carpenter Collection, Six Signed Pieces Including NASA Mercury Seven Color Portrait and Three Mercury Commemorative Covers (1925-2013) Scott Carpenter engineer, test pilot, selected as one of the Mercury 7 Astronauts and later an aquanaut encouraged by Jacques Cousteau to pursue. This lot consists of Six signed pieces: Three photos signed, an 8 x 10 Nasa color portrait, 6¾ x 10" B&W photo with two images, one distinguished and older, the other in his Mercury 7 space suit looking quite cocky actually and it's great and a 4 X 5" photo of all Mercury 7 astronauts in their space suits with Carpenter signing vertically along his body. Also three excellent signed covers, all postmarked May 1962 two Project Mercury covers, one specifically commemorating Carpenter, the third from Boulder, Colorado stamped "Scott Carpenter Day" May 29, 1962. All pieces in excellent condition. Estimated Value $500 - UP
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Lot 848
Mercury Program Collection: MR-3 Canary Island Teletype, MR-5, Photographs and Parachute Sample. Collection of Project Mercury artifacts. 1.) From Mr-3/Freedom 7, Alan Shepard's 15 minute suborbital space flight, a portion of the teletype (4 x 8½") from the moment Alan Shepard entered the capsule to his ocean landing. The entire 14 foot printout was saved by the telemetry supervisor's post in the Canary Islands and later making segments available to collectors. COA by Ken Havekotte. 2.) From Mercury Atlas-5 which carried Enos, the space chimp, for 3 hours and 20 minutes, two orbits around the Earth, a segment of the flown space parachute with an informative letter of authenticity by Ken Havekotte. 3.) Six vintage original photos taken by internal onboard camera with time clock visible and an original News Release dated November 12, 1961. Estimated Value $250 - UP
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Lot 849
Collection of 32 Early NASA Photos Including John F. Kennedy, The Original 9 Candidates, Mercury, Gemini, Lyndon Johnson & More. A small but terrific collection of early NASA photos, both vintage original and vintage re-strike photos. There are two worthy of any collection: 1.) A rarely seen NASA Nine posed photo, the nine Astronaut trainees dated November 1962 which include Elliott See (killed with Charles Bassett in jet test flight otherwise both would have been in Project Gemini) John Young, James McDivitt, Charles Conrad, Neil Armstrong, Tom Stafford, Frank Borman, Ed White and James Lovell 2.) Superb image of Ed White and James McDivitt in space suits, Gemini IV. Also included are eleven photos of John F. Kennedy speaking at Rice University about the Space Program, Lyndon Johnson on a tour at Cape Canaveral, early rocket launches and the like. Estimated Value $200 - UP
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Lot 850
John Glenn Typed Letter Signed Responding to Gentleman Appreciating His Prayers For His Flight but Asks For Prayers for the Other Astronauts. Typed letter signed dated February 20th, 1962 the day Glenn flew on Friendship 7. He writes to a Donald Fisher "Just dropping you a line before I take off into outer space. I am sure that with your prayers I will return to this Earth in good shape. If I do not return, please continue your prayers for the astronauts. Your good friend John, Lieut. Col. John Glenn Jr. Glenn has signed as John. Given the date, and evaluation of "John" this is in all probability secretarial as the letter was typed by initials "RW". But still a fine piece given the content with regards to Glenn's faith. Envelope was postmarked with First Day Issue cancellation from Cape Canaveral, so again, this may have been a piece written and postmarked to coincide with the launch and issue of Project Mercury 4¢ stamp. Letter was reviewed by Steve Zarelli who also felt this would have to be secretarial given the unlikely scenario of Glenn answering letters prior to rocketing into space. Estimated Value $250 - UP
Paul Richards Estate Auction, 1994 Goldberg Auctions.

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Lot 851
Rare, Flown Heat Shield Section From Mercury, "Aurora Seven", May 24, 1962 with Signed Color Portrait by Scott Carpenter (1925-2013) One of the original Mercury 7 Astronauts, all with the "right stuff". Scott Carpenter was the back up for John Glenn's Mercury-Atlas Six Flight, and astronaut for the Mercury-Atlas Seven Flight which he named Aurora 7. Overall a very successful 4 hours and 56 minutes in space even though it was not without its malfunctions, controversy and a splashdown 170 miles off target. During that re-entry period it was seriously thought a grim outcome awaited by many in the media including the legend, Walter Cronkite. But Carpenter's reputation ultimately remained intact. Offered is a flown section of the heat shield, a presentation piece by NASA with the plaque reading "Heat Shield From 'Aurora Seven' Mercury-Atlas 7. M. Scott Carpenter May 24, 1962. Segment is 1¼ x 1 x ½". Also included is a NASA color litho portrait of Scott Carpenter in coat and tie inscribed "For Nancy Best wishes, Scott Carpenter". Estimated Value $1,250 - UP
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