Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Neil Armstrong autograph: High on grade, low on context

This signed photo closed for $1,830 on eBay last night. Two months ago it sold at RR Auction for $1,150, which is a price one would expect considering the Space Shuttle photo is un-related to Neil Armstrong. (Kinda like having Mickey Mantle sign a photo of Wrigley Field.)

RR Auction always commands strong prices and has a great reputation for authenticity, so those were not likely issues. So one could conclude the only difference between the first sale and the second sale is the PSA/DNA "9" grade. (However, the eBay sale did not mention creasing, which was noted in the RR Auction listing.) Are people really chasing "graded" autographs now? While it is undoubtedly authentic and a very nice signature, wouldn't you rather have a "6" that is on a photo representative of Neil Armstrong?

Full disclosure department: I am the space authenticator for RR Auction.

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