This section is designed to highlight particularly interesting covers, especially those that have recently been sold on eBay or in another auction.
MA-9 USS Davis
This cover was recently sold on eBay (February 2010) for the surprising price of US$154! While the USS Davis does appear to be a difficult cover to obtain, the final price was unexpectedly high.
Gemini Boiler Plate Goldcraft Cover
This rare cover was recently sold on eBay (February 2010) for US$112. It is only the second I've seen.
Vintage Photo of the Recovery Helicopter
This vintage photo (approximately 3 x 5) of the Recovery Helicopter landing on the USS Hornet during Apollo 11 and signed by the prime helicopter pilot, Dick Jones (on the back) was sold on eBay (March 2010) for an amazing US$274!
Apollo 11 USS Hornet cover signed by the Commanding Officer and the Recovery Heli Pilot
This cover (March 2010) went for an even more amazing US$351 with 12 bidders trying their luck!
ASTP USS New Orleans Postcard
This important postcard was on board during recovery and is one of only a handful that exist. It sold on eBay during March 2010 for US$79. It is postmarked the day after recovery (the PO on board was closed on the day of recovery).
ASTP USS New Orleans Bob Boudwin Cover
A hand painted ASTP USS New Orleans cover created by Bob Boudwin and actually carried aboard the PRS was sold on eBay during March 2010 for US$113. This is one of a relatively small number of covers that were actually aboard the PRS. Most were postmarked on shore.
An Apollo 13 Signed Crew Cover
A rare Apollo 13 Crew Cover (often incorrectly referred to as a Captain's cover) signed by the CO / Captain L.E. Kirkemo. First one seen signed by the CO. Sold on eBay during March 2010 for US$176.
At present the common recovery ship covers are selling below their long term price. It's therefore a good time to fill those empty spaces. However, signed Primary Recovery Ship covers, Captain's covers and other scarce covers are bringing good prices. For example, this rare GT-6 abort USS Wasp cover brought US$109 in a recent eBay auction (April 2010).
And this GT-10 official ship's cover went for US$82, also on eBay.
And another Apollo 13 Crew Cover together with a postcard was sold for US$103 on eBay.
And an Apollo 11 USS New cover signed by the SWIM 1 Recovery helicopter crew fetched US$102 last month on eBay. PRS covers signed by helicopter recovery crew are becoming more popular and are now selling in the approximate range from $35 to $75 with Apollo 11 covers going for a premium. Once you could pick one up for little more than the cost of a non-signed version.
Also an unusual Apollo 11 USS Hornet cover with hand cancel brought US$37 on eBay.
In a recent Regency Superior auction a pair of MA-6 covers (one a captain's cover from the USS Randolph and the other a USS Noa cover with a non-Project Mercury stamp and a 20 Feb postmark & signed by John Glenn) brought US$475 plus 17% buyer's commission. In the same auction a USS Randolph cover from MR-4 brought US$400 plus buyer's commission.
On the other hand a nice and highly prized MR-3 USS Lake Champlain cover brought US$750 plus 17%. These covers have come down from the very high values of a couple of years ago and settled around $850-$1200 for a clean copy.
Finally, in a recent Space Unit auction a rare Apollo 7 USS Henry Tucker sold for US$44 with the winner's maximum bid being more than twice that!
Two Riser fake covers ex the Ben Ramkissoon collection recently sold on eBay.
The first one sold for US$53 with interest from several buyers. Note that the signatures are also fake.
The second cover sold for US$202.50 with even more buyers showing interest! Note that some of the signatures and in the opinion of some all of the signatures are fake.
Unusual and Rare Recovery Ship Covers are Going for Good Prices
For example, the following extremely usual cover with a MA-6 USS Enterprise cachet and a USS Noa postmark sold for US$357 on eBay (May 2010)!
Unpostmarked Apollo 12 Captain's Cover
The following cover was bought on eBay by Eddie Bizub for under $10! It is the first Captain's cover seen without a postmark and may be unique.
Signed PRS Covers
Prime Recovery Ship covers signed by the Commanding Officer, recovery helicopter crew or frogmen continue to bring good prices, well above an identical unsigned cover. Three recent examples (July 2010) from eBay are shown below.
Firstly, a very nice Beck B838 Apollo 13 PRS cover signed by the primary recovery pilot, Charles Smiley sold for US$76!
Another Apollo 13 USS Iwo Jima postcard again signed by the primary recovery pilot, Charles Smiley sold for a more modest US$40.
Finally, an Apollo 16 flown helicopter cover went for US$45.
Amazing Prices for Two Covers
During early August two covers were sold on eBay for amazing prices. The first was a real oddity and almost certainly unique. It had a Gemini 8 USS Boxer Navy cachet (in Blue which, in itself, is difficult to find) on the front and a Gemini 9 Captain's cover on the back! It sold for the quite high price of US$159.50!
The second cover was described as 'One of the rarest prime recovery ship covers of the US space program : USS Leonard Mason recovery cover for Gemini 8 with printed Beck cachet !' Along with a standard USS Boxer cover from the same mission, it went for the even more amazing price of US$255!! This shows that the market for rarer Recovery Ship covers (especially rare PRS covers) is very strong.
Signed PRS Covers Continue to Bring Good Prices.
Several were sold on eBay in September 2010 for good prices including the following.
This great cover sold for US$61
These three covers sold for US83
These 3 helicopter recovery covers sold for $81.
Several others with single signatures (mostly the CO or XO) brought between $22 and $48.
A Set of Rare MA-7 Covers
A set of three rare USS Intrepid MA-7 covers were sold on eBay during October 2010 for $280! Two were Captain's covers with his signature and one had only the Captain's cachet. All three were signed by the Recovery helicopter pilot.
Even More Signed PRS Covers
During late October 2010 a large number of signed Recovery Ship covers were sold on eBay. Below are some examples.
Three covers from a lot of 9 which brought $205.
This signed Apollo 10 PRS cover brought $53.
Another signed Apollo 10 PRS cover brought $35.
Further Signed PRS Covers
Just a few examples as there are too many to list.
A nice Beck printed cover signed by the CO went for $62.51
Another Beck printed cover signed by 2 members of the recovery team. Together with a vintage photo of the USS Hornet, sold for $61.
Finally another signed PRS Beck printed cover went for $47.61.
The best buys were the lots with multiple signed covers which usually went for between approximately $20 & $30 per cover. An example was a lot of 7 Apollo 11 covers signed by the Captain and Executive Officer of the USS Hornet which sold for $124 or approximately $18 per cover. A second example was a lot of 2 Apollo 11 covers signed by the Swim II Recovery Helicopter team which sold for $55 or $27.50 per cover. There were also some bargins such as a lot of of 5 Covers with autographs of Pilots for Recovery of Apollo 12 which sold for only $53 or a little over $10 per cover.
Gemini 7 Captain's Cover
This Gemini 7 Captain's Cover with a Hand Cancel sold during November 2010 for $46 which was a very good price for the buyer
More Signed PRS Covers
A few more examples from eBay during November 2010.
These two covers sold for $77.
Three of four covers sold for $129.50. Note the top cover has both HC and MC!
These three covers went for $87
Apollo 13 Signed Covers
During November 2010 a series of signed Apollo 13 USS Iwo Jima covers brought high prices. Below are four examples.
These 2 covers sold for $147.50. Note that the bottom cover is the scarce Crew Cover.
Three of Five covers that sold for $178.05. Notice the middle cover is again the scarce Crew Cover.
These two covers and a photo sold for $76.55. Again the second cover is the scarce Crew Cover.
These three covers sold for $108.05
Recovery Cover Collections
Also during November there were three great collections of Recovery Ship covers, each including several dozen covers. The collection of Mercury Recovery Ship covers sold for EURO 322.00, the Gemini collection sold for EURO 257.00 and the Apollo collection sold for EURO 162.10. Each collection contained several hard to find covers.
Several Scarce Covers Sold on eBay
During December there were a number of scarce Recovery Ship Covers sold on eBay.
A scarce MA-6 USS Antietam cover sold for $44.
An interesting MA-6 USS Forrestal cover with a USS Enterprise cachet sold for $40.
A set of probably unique USS Wasp Captain's covers from 4 different missions from Capt. J.C. Berriman, USN, Chief of Staff, Carrier Division Fourteen sold for $321.50. Well worth the price paid.
More Scarce Covers Sold on eBay
There were more scarce Recovery Ship covers sold on eBay during December 2010
This interesting cover went for $145.50
This set of 3 covers went for $141.50. Note the double postmark on the middle cover.
More Signed Covers
Also during December the last of an extensive collection of Apollo PRS signed covers were sold. Most went for quite good prices. A few examples are shown below.
These two covers went for $76.55
This cover went for $36 with lots of bids
Three of four Apollo 17 signed covers sold for $127.50
This cover signed by the crew of the Primary Recovery helicopter sold for $37
Rare Cover Sold on eBay
During December 2010 a rare MOL USS La Salle 'Return to Port' cover was sold on eBay for $203.50!
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Last modified on 24 December 2010