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Neil Armstrong Signed Lithograph with Ironclad Provenance
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $948
Lithograph picturing the space shuttle Challenger, titled 90 Seconds to Touchdown, signed in blue ink by astronaut Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong has inscribed the lithograph, "To Cathe/Neil Armstrong," with both the inscription and signature grading "10." Our consignor, to whom the lithograph is inscribed, obtained this piece directly from Armstrong in 1983 and it has been in her sole possession since that time. Ideally, she has provided a signed letter of provenance in which she details its history. In full:
To Whom It May Concern, I received this autographed lithograph from Neil Armstrong in March of 1983. I was working for the car rental company that had the government contract for all NASA car rentals coming into central Florida. When he arrived we struck up a conversation about his moonwalk, I told him that my great grandmother told me not to believe that he was on the moon...but I told him that in my heart that I knew he was there. He opened his briefcase and took out this lithograph. He then signed it to me, and told me that since I believed in him that he wanted me to have it! It is of the space shuttle Challenger, which had her maiden voyage in April of 1983. Neil was here to check on the progress of the liftoff of the Challenger. His job listed on the rental contract (which he had to tell me what his job was) is listed as Presidential Committee/Space Shuttle. He then proceeded to his car, which was a LeBaron Convertible. He walked back into the building and asked me to show him how to release the top. I went outside and told him that I would show him if he would sing a little bit of "Fly Me To The Moon"... and he did! I am enclosing the rental contract that Neil signed to show the date that he rented the card.
As noted in her letter, the original carbon-copy of the rental-car agreement signed by Armstrong accompanies the lithograph and serves to fully corroborate the story. Armstrong was not the most accommodating signer during his lifetime, making items accompanied by exceptional provenance, such as this piece, all the more appealing to advanced collectors. The lithograph (14 x 11 inches) remains in Mint condition. The carbon-copy of the rental agreement (8.5 x 8.75 inches) is in Excellent to Mint condition. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $948
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