Ham's tag and related paperwork and photos
Lot 18
HAM THE SPACE CHIMP'S FLOWN NECK-TAG.
Sold for US$ 12,200 inc. premium
Auction Details
HAM THE SPACE CHIMP'S FLOWN NECK-TAG. HAM THE SPACE CHIMP'S FLOWN NECK-TAG. HAM THE SPACE CHIMP'S FLOWN NECK-TAG. HAM THE SPACE CHIMP'S FLOWN NECK-TAG. Ham's tag and related paperwork and photos
Lot Details
HAM THE SPACE CHIMP'S FLOWN NECK-TAG.
Flown brass disc, 1½ inch diameter, embossed on both sides with the number "65," and hanging from a metal loop.

Flown into space aboard Mercury-Redstone 2 on January 31, 1961.
40 chimpanzees were selected as candidates for space flight by the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center in New Mexico. Throughout training, and up to the day before the launch, one chimpanzee stood out. He had no official name other than "Number 65." NASA was afraid of a PR backlash if a chimp with a name—and therefore a personality—were to perish in space, mindful, no doubt, of criticism the Russians received over the death of Laika. Only when the mission proved a success would Number 65 be identified by his given name, Ham: an acronym from the lab that trained him.
On January 31, 1961, Ham flew 157 miles into space and reached a maximum velocity on his suborbital flight of 5,857 mph. Performing his tasks admirably, pushing levers 50 times during the flight, Ham was the first chimpanzee launched into space during the American space program.
In various official photographs from the period, Ham can be seen wearing a chain around his neck with the present tag hanging from it. The 2007 book Animals in Space publishes a photograph of Ham in his space suit and flight couch with the chain visible, the tag presumably being tucked to the side or back of his neck to prevent it floating around.
After his successful flight, Ham returned to the chimp colony at Holloman Air Force Base and was trained for a future flight, but ultimately never flew again. He spent the rest of his life first in the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., then at the North Carolina Zoo, and died in 1983.
The lot includes copies of the military papers of an airman based at Holloman, referring to his work with the chimpanzees.
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Matthew Haley
    Auction Administration - Space History
    Bonhams
    Work
    Montpelier Street
    London, United Kingdom SW7 1HH
    Work +44 20 7393 3817