Lot 5046: Guenter Wendt’s Trout Plaque Presented by Collins at Apollo 11 Launch

RR Auction

2015-06-29 15:09:16


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Lot 5046: Certainly one-of-a-kind taxidermied trout, measuring 9.5? long and mounted on a 11.5 x 7.25 plaque, signed and described on the reverse in black felt tip by Wendt, "Sandy. This trout was given to me by Mike Collins in the White Room on the day Apollo 11 started to the moon. 1969, 7-16. Guenter F. Wendt AS-506 Padleader." Affixed to the front are two labels, "Guenter Wendt" and "Trophy Trout." In fine condition, with rippling to labels on the front. Arguably the most unusual of the traditional 'gag' gifts exchanged between astronauts and Wendt as they boarded the spacecraft, Michael Collins describes this gift in his his autobiography Carrying the Fire: 'There are certain amenities to be observed, such as presenting Guenter Wendt, the czar of the launch pad, with a going-away present. Guenter has spent the past couple of weeks telling me what a great fisherman he is, and how he regularly plucks giant trout from the ocean. In return, I have located the smallest trout to be found in these parts, a minnow really, and have had it, uncured, nailed to a plaque…I carry it now in a brown paper shopping bag…Neil has entered the spacecraft, and I am next…When Neil gets in, I give the trout to Guenter and his crew, and they frolic around a bit.' As a supremely well-documented gag gift given to Wendt by Collins immediately before entering the Apollo 11 spacecraft, this is an unquestionably unique and interesting piece. RR Auction's The Nasa Collection of Leon Ford Auction 455 Thursday, 25th June 2015 Estimate: $5000 - 10000
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