One Small Step, One Giant Auction: Neil Armstrong Collection Up for Bidding

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In a series of auctions by Heritage Auctions out of Dallas, Texas, fans of space exploration in general and Neil Armstrong specifically will have the opportunity to purchase mementos which belonged to the first human to set foot on the moon. The personal collection of Neil Armstrong (who passed away in 2012) will be available through auction beginning November 1 and 2. Further such sales will take place in the series continuing in May as well as November of 2019.

Armstrong’s personal collection of artifacts and mementos includes a variety of items from his 1969 lunar landing as well as private pieces such as parts of a propeller and wing from the 1903 Wright Brothers Flyer. These latter items were personal pieces that traveled with Armstrong to the moon. Other such items which made the voyage into space with him include some Robbins Medallions (available only to NASA astronauts), a Texas state flag, a United Nations flag, an American flag, and various other state flags. Of particular significance in the collection for auction is a Purdue University centennial flag (Armstrong’s alma mater and a flag that traveled on Apollo 11), and his Boy Scout cap.

One Small Step, One Giant Auction: Neil Armstrong Collection Up for Bid

Photo: Johnson Space Center

Armstrong’s sons, Mark and Rick, were charged with the task of preserving, conserving, and insuring items from their father’s personal collection. Some of the items required research for proper identification as well as restoration work. Mark said that the number of people familiar with the objects and their historical significance was smaller and smaller every day, and that the longer they waited, the more difficult it would become to understand the special context of each artifact.  As such, the boys worked with Collectibles Authentication Guaranty out of Sarasota, Florida, to assist with the authentication and preservation of the artifacts their father had kept. They eventually selected Heritage Auctions in Dallas to handle the auction sales. A portion of the proceeds from the auctions will benefit causes that Armstrong’s sons feel are important and believe to have been shared priorities of their parents.