A satellite clock directly from the center instrument panel of Scott Carpenter’s Aurora 7 capsule. This clock was removed from the spacecraft and given to Carpenter as a post-flight gift, and sold in our space auction for $243,600.
This lot garnered international media attention from outlets like CBS and AP News. Two front-row tickets to Ford’s Theatre dated to the evening of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination sold for $262,500.
This dinner menu from Pakistan’s first state visit to China was signed by Chairman Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and other important Chinese statesmen. RR sold this lot in our December Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction for $275,000.
7. Thomas Jefferson: First Edition of Notes on the State of Virginia (Edmund Randolph’s Copy, Signed and Annotated)
Published in 1782, this is an original copy of a book authored by Thomas Jefferson that was owned, annotated, and signed by fellow Founding Father Edmund Randolph. And, the only full-length book he published in his lifetime, Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, which earned a final price of $275,000.
This is the first of three Omega Speedmaster watches issued to NASA astronauts on this list. Ron Evans received watch number 1007 and each one was engraved with the inscription “To mark man’s conquest of space with time, through time, on time.” This first watch sold for $296,738.
Our second gold Omega Speedmaster belonged to Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean. The watch was originally going to be given to him during a special gala dinner on November 25, 1969, at the Hotel Warwick in Houston, Texas, but Bean was still in Apollo 12 quarantine and didn’t receive his watch until later. This closed with a price of $302,500.
Our last Omega Speedmaster of the list is dedicated to the commander of Gemini III, the late Gus Grissom. At the special gala dinner on November 25, Grissom’s family was presented with this timepiece to commemorate his work for NASA after his death during the pre-launch test for Apollo 1. This watch was the highest-selling of the three at $375,000.
The lot in spot number 3 was flown aboard the Apollo 17 mission and used on the lunar surface. Look closely and you can still see traces of moon dust! Gene Cernan’s EVA-1 cuff checklist, which earned a final price of $375,000 in RR Auction’s Remarkable Rarities event.
2. Abraham Lincoln Signed First Edition of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates (One of four Known Signed in Ink, to Former Law Apprentice N. M. Broadwell)
Our number 2 item was also the top-selling artifact of our annual Remarkable Rarities event. This first edition copy of the Lincoln-Douglas debates was signed by President Lincoln to his former law apprentice and now holds the record for the highest-selling signed Lincoln book ever with a price of $593,750.
Our number 1 item of 2023 comes straight from the personal collection of Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke. A moon rock scoop used to collect more than 200 pounds of lunar soil samples, including Big Muley, the largest moon rock ever collected. Featured in our semi-annual space auction, this lot earned its spot as the highest-selling item of 2023 with a price of $874,998.