Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Presented by Steve Jurvetson; Originally from the Collection of Jim Ruddy, with His Original Provenance File.

    Apollo 16: Charlie Duke's Lunar Module Flown Sunglasses and Signed/Certified Case, Originally from the Personal Collection of Mission Lunar Module Pilot Charlie Duke, with His Signed Letters of Certification and Photographic Provenance, in Deluxe Framed Display. As an opening statement, your cataloguer wants to state that this absolutely magnificent presentation piece includes an amount of provenance that we rarely encounter. For your consideration here is a pair of sunglasses that Apollo 16 LMP Charlie Duke took on the mission and wore while on the moon. These glasses are mounted at center in this luxurious red velvet display along with their original LM flown Beta cloth case on which is written: "This case, bearing trace/ Lunar dust, held the sunglasses/ I wore on the moon!/ Charles M. Duke Jr/ Apollo 16 Moonwalker". The original NASA inventory tag is visible below: POUCH, SUNGLASSES/ SEB 12100034-203/ S/N 1053/ MFG. NASA MSC 3/70".

    To the left is a modern photo of Duke wearing the sunglasses and holding the case on his letterhead with the handwritten message: "To James Ruddy:/ Congratulations on acquiring my Apollo 16/ Lunar Module Sunglasses!/ Preserve them well/ for the future!/ Charles M. Duke, Jr./ Apollo 16 Moonwalker".

    To the right is an extensive Letter of Certification on Duke's letterhead, stating (in part): "This is to certify that the accompanying Apollo 16 Sunglasses and Beta-Cloth Carrying Case... were used by me on the moon during my lunar exploration of April 20-23, 1972..." Signed in full at close. (The full transcription can be found on our website.)

    All of this is presented in a frame of 36.5" x 20". A rarely-offered personal item that was used for an extended stay on the moon. Since Charlie Duke owned them, they have been in two of the finest Space Collections ever assembled. Now they can be in yours. Very fine.

    Pease Note: If this isn't enough provenance, we find, in Ruddy's file, another page of Duke's letterhead with a photo of Duke on the lunar surface and the following printed text: "My helmet's gold visor protected me from the Sun's glare while walking on the Moon. I then wore the accompanying sunglasses to gaze out onto the lunar surface through the windows of our Lunar Module, pictured here behind me. [signed] Charles M. Duke, Jr. Apollo 16 Moonwalker".

    More Information: "This is to certify that the accompanying APOLLO 16 SUNGLASSES AND BETA-CLOTH CARRYING CASE bearing Part Number SEB 12100033-201, and Serial Numbers S/N 59 and S/N 1053, were used by me on the Moon during my lunar exploration of April 20 - 23, 1972.

    "On April 16, 1972, I departed Earth for the Descartes Highlands of the Moon aboard Apollo 16, mankind's fifth lunar-landing mission, along with fellow astronauts John W. Young and Ken Mattingly.

    "Four days later, John Young and I descended within our Lunar Module "Orion" to the Moon's surface, where we made our historic landfall on April 20, 1972.

    "Once on the Moon, we were faced with a totally alien environment. This included a complete lack of atmosphere, gravity that was only one-sixth that of Earth, and extremely deadly temperatures.

    "Due to the Moon's lack of an atmosphere, the full strength of the Sun's rays reached the lunar surface.
    As such, it was critically important that our eyes be shielded from the extreme glare that resulted.

    "Our spacesuit helmets had a gold visor to filter out the brilliant light when walking outside on the Moon I then used the accompanying sunglasses to gaze out onto the lunar surface while inside the "Orion".

    "Traces of Lunar Dust can be located throughout the exterior of the case! My hands were typically covered with the Dust, which then adhered to the case as I handled it in the "Orion" on the Moon.

    "During the Apollo Program, it was NASA's policy to allow astronauts to keep disposable item's from their missions as personal mementos, and I chose to include these sunglasses among mine.

    "These Unique Sunglasses then remained a treasured part of my personal space collection from 1972 when they were returned to me by NASA, until 2002, when I formally released them from my collection."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,083

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 June 9 - 10 Rare Books Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search