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Sale 754

Aerophilately, Rocket Mail and Astrophilately,
Featuring the Johann Strauss & Leo Malz Collections


Mercury Flights (1961-1963)




Lot Photo Description
Lot 6434

United States, 1961 (May 5), Shepard U.S.S. Lake Champlain Prime Recovery Ship. Arguably the most difficult Prime to acquire; a superb hand cancel with standard rubber stamp; beautiful full vintage Shepard autograph (possible atypical autopen?) with partial address of Peter Van Miert, an early Astrophilatelist; this will be the finest Prime Recovery Ship in your collection, outstanding postmark; label stains and evidence of prior photo mount in left lower corner; hinge remnant on reverse, reportedly only 44 philatelic covers were mailed from the ship; in contrast the U.S.S Hornet mailed 250,000 philatelic covers for Apollo 11.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.
Current Bid $1,000
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Lot 6435

United States, 1961 (July 21), Grissom Prime Recovery Ship Type II with AUTO. Locating a genuine Grissom autograph is a find; getting one on a Type II U.S.S. Randolph Prime Recovery Ship is extra special; don't let this get away; faint label stains noted.
Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.
Current Bid $750
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Lot 6436

United States, 1961 (July 21), Grissom U.S.S. Randolph Type II Prime Recovery Ship. Recovery ship covers from the suborbital flight of Grissom are rare. Especially difficult is finding a complete, legible Type II postmark; this one also has an attractive magenta Registry hand stamp; the signature is an autopen; Very faint toning from glue lines and slight residual from address label, Type II (ship name on top) are very scarce.
Estimate $1,200 - 1,800.
Current Bid $600
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Lot 6437

United States, 1961 (July 21), Grissom Type I U.S.S. Randolph Prime Recovery Ship. Amvet label (overwritten as Second Manned Space Flight) on fresh suborbital Prime; the hand cancel is quite crisp and the airmail envelope adds color.
Estimate $400 - 600.
Current Bid $200
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Lot 6438

United States, 1961 (July 21), Grissom U.S.S. Lowry sub-orbital Secondary Recovery Ship. Airmail cover with superb hand cancel on uncommon Secondary Recovery Ship; accompanying note on ship letterhead addressed to Les Winnick explains Commanding Officer autograph added in 1964; also USS Remey and USS English (MA-7); USS Kaskaskia and USS Renshaw (MA-8); Canton Island (MA-9); and USS Fort Snelling (MOL), only the second sub-orbital Secondary Recovery Ship cover we've seen in 30 years—and the only autographed example.
Estimate $200 - 300.
Current Bid $100
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Lot 6439

United States, 1962 (Feb 20), Glenn Prime Recovery Ship with bold P.M. cancel. Non-backdated envelope serviced on the destroyer that collected Col. Glenn; stamped corner card ship information with add on picture and vintage J H Glenn Jr signature, while covers with other than Mercury stamps (#1193) are considered genuine, these scarce P.M. versions are especially desirable.
Estimate $600 - 800.
Current Bid $300
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Lot 6440

United States, 1962 (Feb 20), Glenn Prime Recovery Ship with P.M. postmark. Very attractive U.S.S. Noa hand cancel with P.M. cancel (not backdated) on seldom seen aerogram; Gordon-type add-on cachet and vintage J H Glenn Jr autograph complete this exceptional item, while Feb 20th postmarks with non-Mercury stamps are considered non-backdated, these scarce P.M. versions are considered unimpeachable.
Estimate $500 - 750.
Current Bid $250
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Lot 6441

United States, 1962 (May 24), Carpenter U.S.S. Pierce Prime Recovery Ship. This envelope mailed to a collector from an unlikely Prime Recovery Ship has a strong, well-formed hand cancel and the amateurish printed cachet (as usual) on the reverse; while not the early vintage M. Scott Carpenter signature, this mid-career autograph is attractive.
Estimate $500 - 750.
Current Bid $250
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Lot 6442

United States, 1962 (May 24), Carpenter Prime Recovery Ship. Very scarce Goldey artwork with beautiful hand cancel; following a landing overshoot the destroyer U.S.S. John R. Pierce arrived to recover the Mercury astronaut and his capsule; faint foxing along left lower edge, a key item for Project Mercury.
Estimate $500 - 750.
Current Bid $250
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Lot 6443

United States, Gold Team honored in New York City. Vintage autographs of Mercury astronauts labeled by Life magazine as the Gold Team when it was unclear who would fly the first manned space missions; Shepard and Grissom piloted the sub-orbital flights while Glenn had just returned as the first American to orbit the Earth.
Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.
Current Bid $500
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Lot 6444

United States, Vintage Grissom on Project Mercury First Day Cover. Fresh as the day it was signed beautiful, full autograph of Virgil I Grissom on block of four uncacheted and unaddressed envelope; due to the crush of fan requests the astronaut usually compressed the signature as Gus Grissom; seldom encountered since the pilot was killed in the pad fire in Jan 1967.
Estimate $750 - 1,000.
Current Bid $375
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Lot 6445

United States, Original Seven vintage autographs. Schirra, Shepard, Glenn, Grissom, Slaton, Cooper, and Carpenter full autographs with their test pilot service backgrounds on Hamton, VA postmarked envelope; before the Astronaut Corps moved to a permanent home in Houston, TX the Mercury astronauts were based at Langley in VA, exceedingly rare to find early signatures, all with their military titles.
Estimate $1,500 - 2,000.
Current Bid $750
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Lot 6446

United States, Sarazin Mercury folders all individually autographed. Virtually impossible to duplicate group; MR-3 signed Alan Shepard; MR-4 signed Virgil I Grissom; MA-6 signed John Glenn; MA-7 signed Scott Carpenter; MA-8 signed Wally Schirra; and MA-9 signed Gordon Cooper; you will never find a nicer set.
Estimate $1,000 - 1,500.
Current Bid $500
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Lot 6447

United States, Mercury astronaut autographs on 7 covers. Beginning with Alan B Shepard Jr on a Fuerst cachet with strong Port Canaveral launch hand cancel; Virgil I Grissom on a Port Canaveral launch date; J H Glenn Jr on a Patrick AFB machine cancel (Swanson art?); M Scott Carpenter with generic SpaceCraft cachet at Patrick AFB launch postmark; Cape Canaveral hand cancel (light) with Walter W Schirra Jr; D K Slayton (the only one not to fly in Project Mercury) on a paste up envelope cancelled in Norfolk, VA; and a USS Kearsarge Prime Recovery Ship with signature of the Commanding Officer and Leroy S Cooper Jr; a solid group.
Estimate $800 - 1,200.
Current Bid $400
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Lot 6448

United States, Original Seven signatures on individual covers. Classic SpaceCraft MR-3 flight with machine cancel at Patrick AFB signed Alan B Shepard Jr; Spacecraft Liberty Bell has PAFB machine cancel autographed Gus Grissom; Gordon add on postmarked Port Canaveral hand cancel and J H Glenn Jr; generic SpaceCraft art and untied Mercury stamp with the full Donald K Slayton; M Scott Carpenter signed a Captain's cover (missing the CO signature) addressed to noted collector; Cape Canaveral hand stamp for launch of Walter W Schirra with a generic SpaceCraft cachet; same artwork with a Cape Canaveral machine cancel includes the autograph of Leroy S Cooper Jr; a great selection; slight toning on Grissom envelope.
Estimate $800 - 1,200.
Current Bid $400
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Lot 6449

United States, Original seven Mercury astronaut signatures on cover. In 1959 the first announcement from the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration was a call for test pilots; after a series of highly demanding (and invasive) test, NASA settled on three naval aviators, three Air Force pilots, and a Marine; includes, Alan B Shepard Jr, Virgil I Grissom, J H Glenn Jr, D K Slayton, Scott Carpenter, W Schirra Jr, and Gordon Cooper; seven envelopes in total.
Estimate $800 - 1,200.
Current Bid $500
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Lot 6450

United States, Astronaut pilots of Project Mercury. One would fly first, be grounded for years, and then golf on the Moon; another would lose a capsule, command the first next generation spacecraft, and then perish in a launchpad fire; another would be the first American in orbit, become a US Senator, and run for President; another would be lost at sea and would leave NASA to become an aquanaut; another would command missions in Mercury, Gemini and Apollo; another would be the last American to travel in space alone; and one would be hired in 1959 to go up against the Soviets and be grounded until the final flight of Apollo, when he and his crewmates flew to orbit to greet the Russians; includes, Alan B Shepard Jr, Gus Grissom, J H Glenn Jr, D K Slayton, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra and Gordon Cooper; seven autographes in total.
Estimate $800 - 1,200.
Current Bid $500
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Lot 6451

United States, Project Mercury Captain's covers. Three wonderful examples from the earliest days of America's manned space flight; ship stationary was used by Lt Felt to fashion this limited (there were 75) momento from the Mercury Atlas (MA-4) robot flight recovered by USS Decatur; the MA-6 mission (with typical glue staining under the cachet) postmarked on the USS Randolph is autographed by both Capt Max Berns and J H Glenn Jr; the USS Intrepid MA-7 cover sports the vintage M. Scott Carpenter as well as the ship Capt; these are key Prime Recovery Ships for any serious collection; some toning noted.
Estimate $600 - 800.
Current Bid $300
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Lot 6452

United States, Mercury astronaut autographs on cover. Dealers opportunity to get vintage signatures of the original astronaut pilots; Houston Philatelic Society has Type 1 autopens of all but Shepard (Type 3) and J H Glenn Jr and Scott Carpenter (which are good); generic printed Project Mercury cacheted envelope also has Type 1 autopens with the exception of Alan B Shepard Jr, J H Glenn Jr, and Scott Carpenter; the remainder are one cover one autograph; Gordon Cooper (2), Leroy Cooper Jr, Scott Carpenter (8), D K Slayton (3), John Glenn, and J H Glenn Jr (5); a total of 25 autographs on 22 covers; all from heros who have passed on.
Estimate $500 - 750.
Current Bid $250
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Lot 6453

United States, Mercury flights complete with Velvet artwork. Attractive collection of Rank cachets; each has both a printed signature and either an autograph or autopen; the Glenn and Carpenter are autographs.
Estimate $250 - 350.
Current Bid $130
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Lot 6454

United States, Before they tired of autographing envelopes. Early examples of Alan B Shepard Jr, John H Glenn Jr and M Scott Carpenter on period envelopes.
Estimate $200 - 300.
Current Bid $100
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Lot 6455
United States, 4¢ Project Mercury autographed blocks (Scott 1193). 10 Project Mercury blocks (two are plate blocks) and 11 Decade of Achievement blocks (six are plate blocks); autographed by Slayton, Glenn (4), Stafford (2), Cernan and Mattingly, there is also a Conrad autopen; 1434-35 blocks are signed by Swigert, Worden, Cernan, Kerwin, Brand, Lind and Mattingly, four blocks are autopens of Worden, Scott (2) and Irwin; 21 blocks in total; missing small piece of a Glenn block.
Estimate $300 - 400.
Current Bid $150
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Lot 6456
United States, Grissom & Shepard entering blockhouse 5. Crew: Alan Shepard. US Air Force Missile Test Center Photographic Lab 8 x 10 glossy photo autographed Virgil I Grissom and Alan B Shepard Jr; taken a few weeks after America's first manned Mercury flight and two weeks before the second suborbital shot; condition of the photograph is superb with no cracking or bent corners,
1" strip of discoloration on reverse,

Estimate $750 - 1,000.
Current Bid $375
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Lot 6457

United States, Mercury 7 autographs on FDCs (Scott 1193). Seven 1193 Project Mercury FDCs issued the day of America's first manned orbital mission; envelopes are blank except for the astronaut pilot autographs; Alan B Shepard Jr; Virgil I Grissom; M Scott Carpenter; Donald K Slayton; Walter W Schirra; Gordon Cooper; the last has seven signatures, Cooper autopen (pattern 1), J H Glenn Jr, Shepard secretarial, Slayton autopen (pattern 1), Walter Schirra, M Scott Carpenter, Grissom autopen (pattern 1); minor staining through stamp on Shepard cover, faint toning throughout.
Estimate $1,200 - 1,800.
Current Bid $600
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Lot 6458
United States, typed letter signed Gordon Cooper on Walt Disney stationary. Letter thanking a fan for interest in the space program following his flights during Mercury and Gemini programs signed Gordon Cooper; also civilian attire head and shoulder photograph with crisp Leroy S. Cooper Jr; flawless photograph with exceptional autograph.
Estimate $250 - 350.
Current Bid $130
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