Lot #7004
Liberty Bell 7 Flown One-Dollar Bill - From the Collection of Curt Newport

Flown one-dollar bill hidden inside the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft, recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean after 38 years

 
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Estimate: $20000+

Description

Flown one-dollar bill hidden inside the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft, recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean after 38 years

Incredible flown Series 1957 silver certificate one-dollar bill (A1248420B), one of five that were carried aboard the Liberty Bell 7 with astronaut Gus Grissom during the Mercury-Redstone 4 mission and recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean 38 years after splashdown. The dollar bill is mounted and displayed with color glossy photos of the Liberty Bell 7 resting at the bottom of Blake’s Basin, and another of the rusted interior of the spacecraft following its recovery; the former is signed in black felt tip, “They said it would never be found. On May 30, 1999, we proved them all wrong. Curt Newport, July 10, 1999.” Matted and framed to an overall size of 16 x 27; the acrylic frame backing reveals a back view of the banknote.

Accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from Newport, who states: “I certify that this Silver Certificate Dollar Bill, Series 1957; No. A12484240B, was gifted to me in December of 1999 by the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center following its discovery in the Liberty Bell 7 Mercury spacecraft. This dollar bill is one of five found inside of the spacecraft wrapped around a wiring bundle and hidden by shrink tubing.”

After unsuccessful attempts in 1992 and 1993, Oceaneering International, Inc. and a team led by Curt Newport lifted the Liberty Bell 7 from the Atlantic seabed and onto the deck of the recovery ship Ocean Project on July 20, 1999, the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The spacecraft was found after a 14-year effort by Newport at a depth of nearly 16,000 feet, some 350 miles east-southeast of Cape Canaveral. Among the items found within were parts of the flight gear, several Mercury dimes, and five one-dollar bills, the latter taken to space to be souvenirs of the flight. The spacecraft was transported to The Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas, where it was disassembled and cleaned and is now on permanent display. An unprecedented flown offering that represents the only Liberty Bell 7 one-dollar bill available for private ownership.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space Exploration
  • Dates: #646 - Ended October 20, 2022