CAG-certified US Flag from Gemini and Apollo Missions Sells for $300,000
Posted on 12/21/2022
A US flag that was aboard astronaut Michael Collins’ two space missions — and which is now certified by Collectibles Authentication Guaranty® (CAG®) — has sold for a stratospheric $300,000. It was one of dozens of CAG-certified Space Race artifacts from Collins’ personal collection that were offered in the Space Exploration Signature Auction, presented in December 2022 by Heritage Auctions.
The top-selling item in the sale was the Apollo 11 and Gemini 10 Flown US Flag, Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50059), which realized $300,000. This silk US flag is the largest size typically flown on Apollo missions. It is inscribed in black ink: “Carried aboard Gemini X, a world altitude record in 1966, and to the moon on the first lunar landing, Apollo XI, July 1969. Michael Collins Gemini X PILOT, APOLLO XI CMP.”
Collins flew the Apollo 11 command module Columbia around the moon in 1969 while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took humanity’s first steps on the lunar surface. Collins’ only other trip to space was the Gemini 10 mission in 1966, during which he became the first person to perform two spacewalks. He passed away in 2021.
The $300,000 price realized for this flag represents one of the highest prices paid for any CAG-certified artifact at auction. It is surpassed only by two spectacular rarities from The Armstrong Family Collection™, a collection of thousands of items saved by the immediate family of Neil Armstrong. They are an Apollo 11 Flown Gold Robbins Medal that realized $2.05 million in 2019 and an Apollo 11 Spacecraft Identification Plate that realized $468,500 in 2018.
The Apollo 11 mission is a popular target for collectors, and the December 2022 auction included other CAG-certified artifacts linked to Collins. To call attention to their important provenance, the items in the Personal Collection of Michael Collins were encapsulated with a special CAG label that includes the mission insignias from Gemini 10 and Apollo 11. Other highlights included:
- an Apollo 11 Flown Crew-Signed Beta Cloth with Mission Insignia (lot 50062) that realized $106,250
- an Apollo 11 Flown US Flag – 4 x 6 inches, Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50064) that realized $68,750
- an Apollo 11 Flown Robbins Medal graded MS 66 with Serial Number 32 (lot 50060) that realized $45,000
- an Apollo 11 Flown Personal Preference Kit Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50066) that realized $37,500
- an Apollo 11 Crew-Signed Flown "Type One" Quarantine Cover (lot 50067) that realized $28,750
- an Apollo 11 Crew-Signed Flown "Type One" Quarantine Cover (lot 50061) that realized $26,250
- an Apollo 11 Flown Flight Plan Page from the Command Module Pilot Solo Book with Handwritten Notes (lot 50063) that realized $22,500
- an Apollo 11 Flown United Nations Flag – 4 x 6 inches, Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50065) that realized $13,750
- an Apollo 11 Flown Flight Data File Clip Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50069) that realized $13,750
Prices realized include buyer’s premium.
Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free CAG eNewsletter today!