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Lot 128: Neil Armstrong Hairdressing Scissors & Comb

PFC Auctions

October 1, 2014
St. Peter Port, United Kingdom

More About this Item


One of the most talked about pieces of Neil Armstrong memorabilia
Used to cut the hair of the first man on the Moon
Accompanied by 25 strands of Neil Armstrong's hair

Neil Armstrong was best known for being the first person to set foot on the moon. He participated in two spaceflights during his career as an astronaut; Gemini 8 and Apollo 11. He also served as Capsule Communicator, communicating with the crew of Gemini 11 in 1966.

Armstrong was awarded a Congressional Space Medal of Honor for his efforts and has been decorated by 17 countries in total.

Shortly after Apollo 11, Armstrong announced that he would not be flying into space again.

For one year he served as Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, NASA Headquarters and then went on to teach at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati between 1971 and 1979. From 1982 until 1992 he was chairman of Computing Technologies for Aviation Inc.

This is a pair of scissors and a comb used by Neil Amstrong's barber, Marx Sizemore, to cut the Moonwalker's hair.

They are accompanied by 25 strands of Armstrong's hair.

In May 2005, Neil Armstrong became involved in a legal battle with barber Marx Sizemore of Lebanon, Ohio, after finding that the barber was selling off cuts of his hair to memorabilia hunters.

Armstrong threatened legal action unless the hair was returned or the sale proceeds donated to charity. Following Sizemore making the charitable donation, the scissors & comb used by the barber have been held in a private collection.

This is a well documented collection.

Included in the sale are copies of the legal correspondence between Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP, Armstrong's legal representatives, and barber Marx Sizemore.

Also included are sworn testimonies from Sizemore declaring the hair to be genuine:

"This is to inform you that I have been the barber of record of Neil Armstrong since October 1999. I generally cut his hair once a month. This is the, Neil Armstrong, who was an astronaut for N.A.S.A. and the first man to walk on the moon. I do attest that the hair clippings submitted to you are his hairs that I cut from his head."

There is another Sizemore document authenticating the scissors used to cut Armstrong's hair.

A notarised Public State of Colorado document is also included, detailing how the original purchaser obtained the hair from Marx Sizemore.

Since 1994, Neil Armstrong ceased signing autographs as he found out that many forgeries were selling for large amounts of money.

Armstrong's is now considered to be one the most valuable and best-performing signatures, as a signed photo of him has increased in value by 1,263.6% between 2000 and 2012, according to the PFC40 Autograph Index.

An estimated 600 million people tuned in to watch the launch of Apollo 11 and so it comes as no surprise that memorabilia related to the mission and its astronauts is highly sought after. Combine this demand with the shortage of Neil Armstrong signed memorabilia out there and it becomes apparent why personal items such as this comb, scissors and hair, are incredibly rare.

History of hair collecting

Hair collecting was hugely popular in the Victorian era. Military officer, Robert E. Lee would regularly give away a sample of his hair instead of an autograph.

A curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Harry Rubenstein, says "more so than an autograph, it was a sign of affection".

The poet Leigh Hunt is known to have had a collection of hair from 21 notable figures inducing Edgar Allen Poe, John Keats and George Washington. This collection is currently on display in the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.

The value of the 25 off-cuts of hair alone should not be underestimated... A single strand of Elvis Presley hair recently sold for £1,055 ($1,750) at auction.

Also in recent years locks from Babe Ruth have sold for $38,000 at auction, John Lennon for $48,000, Elvis and Che Guevara for $119,500. Even teen sensations Justin Bieber's hair has sold at auction for $40,668.

The price of Armstrong memorabilia soared at the recent Apollo 11 40th Anniversary celebrations. A personal cheque signed by Neil Armstrong on the day of his lunar mission sold for a record $27,350. 54 times the minimum bid price of $500.

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Auction House will ship, at Buyer's expense

Autographs, Books and Memorabilia

PFC Auctions
October 1, 2014, 7:00 PM GMT

St. Peter Port, United Kingdom

Buyer's Premium

£0 - 30,000: 20.0%
£30,001 - 100,000: 17.5%
£100,001 - 500,000: 15.0%
£500,001+: 10.0%

From: To: Increment:
£0 £99 £5
£100 £199 £10
£200 £299 £20
£300 £499 £25
£500 £999 £50
£1,000 £1,999 £100
£2,000 £2,999 £200
£3,000 £4,999 £250
£5,000 £9,999 £500
£10,000 £19,999 £1,000
£20,000 £29,999 £2,000
£30,000 £49,999 £2,500
£50,000 £99,999 £5,000
£100,000+ £10,000

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