The Buzz Aldrin: American Icon auction at Sotheby's, featuring 69 personal pieces of Buzz Aldrin memorabilia from his private collection, has closed with a bid of $2,772,500 securing the much coveted inflight coverall jacket worn by Buzz during the Apollo 11 flights.
The jacket, which is the only piece of Apollo 11 flown clothing available to collectors, as the rest are with the Smithsonian, comfortably beat it's $1,000,000-$2,000,000 pre-sale estimate.
The other major piece in the sale, the much publicised broken circuit switch and pen used as it's replacement, rather surprisingly did not meet it's $1,000,000-$2,000,000 estimate. That's a surprise as we can't think of a piece of Apollo 11 space memorabilia with a better story. It would be a perfect Museum exhibit.
It was the only lot not to sell, with the remaining 68 lots realising over $8,000,000 for Buzz Aldrin and his family.
Among the better performing lots were the Apollo 11 Flight Plan sheet—Demonstrating the Touchdown of Lunar Module "Eagle" on the Lunar Surface which sold for $327,600 against an estimate of $30,000-$50,000, and Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Summary Flight Plan — A Complete Summary of the Entire Mission, From Launch to Splashdown which sold for $819,000 against an estimate of $100,000-$150,000.
Another lot that performed well was a Gemini XII Flight Plan, signed by Buzz Aldrin which blitzed it's $1,500-$2,500 estimate, selling for $20,160. There could be a tip there to look out for undervalued Gemini XII memorabilia for future growth in value, rather than Apollo 11 memorabilia.
Similarly a fantastic Apollo 11 Lunar Module Water Dispenser/Fire Extinguisher smashed it's $12,000-$18,000 estimate, selling for $327,600.
Buzz Aldrin's signed flags performed very well with the US flag flown on Apollo 11 selling for $252,000 against a $15,000-$20,000 estimate, and Buzz's Texas State flag, also flown on Apollo 11, selling for $151,200 against an estimate of $12,000-$15,000.
And the lot we highlighted as 'affordable' prior to the auction? Buzz's Lifetime passes to the National and American Leagues of Major League Baseball, sold for $7,560 against an estimate of $1,200-$1,800.
The full Buzz Aldrin: American Icon auction sale results are available at Sothebys.
So $2,772,500 for the only piece of Apollo 11 flight worn clothing available to a private collector?
We've recently seen T-Rex skeletons sell for $10m, Kurt Cobain's Smells Like Teen Spirit guitar selling for $4.55m, Muhammad Ali's Rumble in the Jungle championship belt sell for $6,18m, a set of Tiger Woods' irons sell for over $5m, a Kobe Bryant rookie season shirt sell for $2.7m and even a lunch date with Warren Buffett sell for $19m+.
It makes Buzz Aldin's jacket seem like a bargain doesn't it?