The first American in space appears in oils at Regency Superior's sale



2015-06-26 12:12:19

The first American in space appears in oils at Regency Superior's sale

Alan Shepard's portrait leads a sale which also features Apollo 11 and Concorde memorabilia

Early in the new year, Regency Superior's auction of stamps, coins and space memorabilia will be getting underway with two of the most exciting lots being those we have reported: the autographs of the German flying ace the Red Baron and flight pioneer Wilbur Wright.

There are several other interesting signatures in the sale, and a number of philatelic items, but there is also a variety of items which don't fit into either category. So leaving signed covers to one side for the time being, here are the unique collectibles for the auction:

Firstly there are two excellent pieces of Concorde memorabilia. As we described in a previous article, Concorde memorabilia is a very promising area of investment.

Of such investments, few can be of more interest than the jump suit worn by co-pilot John Cochrane for the first flight of Concorde 002 (G-BSST) on April 9 1969, and it is believed that a suit belonging to the pilot in the sale may be that exact one.

The suit is about 64" tall with multiple number of zippered or button pockets. Some collateral material is included, notably a small lithograph depicting Cochrane and pilot Brian Trubshaw in the Concorde cockpit and duplicate of flight chart used on inaugural flight, London to Bahrain, signed by flight's engineer.

The auctioneer concedes that it is not possible to prove the suit is what they think it is, which explains a fairly conservative $1,000-$1,500 listing. Collectors and investors may be interested to know that Buzz Aldrin's signed training suit is also available outside the auction.

Concorde Mach meter Concorde Mach meter (Click to enlarge)

Also on offer is a 1960s-80s Concorde Mach Meter & Air Speed Indicator. These are two rare equipment pieces that worked in tandem and were used in SST Concorde simulator. The air speed indicator, 11" deep by 4" across its face, was for speeds below Mach 1 and the Mach meter, 8"x4"x2", was for greater speeds.

These were only used in simulators and therefore number in existence is very small. Both were electrically controlled, not a pitot-static type. A marvelous duo, they would make a great addition to any Concorde collection.

They are estimated at $1,000-1,500, though readers should note that a machmeter offered in a Toulouse auction in 2007 with a similar estimate brought 29,000.

For space collectors, there is a 1969 Apollo 11 Amvets Peace Award on offer. This beautiful 8"x12" award presented to Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins in August 1969 and comes complete with a 4-part decorama of Buzz Aldrin accepting this award on behalf of the crew.

A Smithsonian inventory tag is attached to the award, which was originally sold in 1993 by Regency Superior from the Buzz Aldrin Collection, and it carries an estimate of $2,000-$2,500.

Alan Shepard portrait Alan Shepard portrait (Click to enlarge)

The expected top lot however is a 1986 Flight of Freedom 7 oil painting of Alan Shepard by Robert Peak. Peak was a world renowned illustrator/artist who did the original promotional artwork for: West Side Story (1961), My Fair Lady (1975), Camelot, Rollerball, the first six Star Trek Films, Superman (1978), In Like Flint, & Apocalypse Now.

This oil on canvas was commissioned to honour the 25th anniversary of Astronaut Alan Shepard's flight aboard 'Freedom 7' which made him the first American in space. The museum-quality piece is offered with a distinctly modest listing of $7,500-$10,000.

Regency Superior's auction takes place from January 28-30 in California and online, with the space and aviation auctions some of the first to close.

Recent and Related Articles...

Aviators duel in California: Wilbur Wright and the Red Baron appear for sale | 9 December 2010

Rare autographs from the German war hero and flight pioneer are going under the hammer

History from the skies: parts from 'the two most famous planes ever' are for sale | 29 November 2010

A rare opportunity is available for aviation collectors as Lucky Lindy and the Red Baron return

Come fire, flood or acts of God: the collection of stamps that never made it | 24 November 2010

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Video of the week...The extraordinary life of Amelia Earhart | 24 November 2010

This week we turn our attention to a pioneering aviator and feminist icon

Aviation memorabilia is propelled to centre stage at Battle of Britain auction | 11 November 2010

Alongside the medals of two WWII pilots, early aircraft models and even propellers will be on offer

Images: Regency Superior

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