Incredibly rare umbilical head used on the ‘Liberty Bell 7’ from the collection of Guenter Wendt, measuring 3.5 x 6.5 x 6.5, hand-engraved on the side, “MR-4, 7-21-1961, G. Wendt.” A handwritten letter by Wendt identifying the piece is affixed to the bottom of the wooden mount. In fine condition. Accompanied by two additional letters of provenance by Wendt, including an ALS and TLS. The ALS, in full: “The actual umbilical head used on the MR-4 spacecraft ‘Liberty Bell.’ Launched July 21, 1961.” In the TLS, Wendt describes the mementos they took, in part: “After the successful launch MR-3 (Al Shepard) the pad crew decided to give each astronaut a physical memento of the important event. I was elected to collect some hardware and transform it into a unique gift…This custom was followed all thru the Mercury program. The gift for Al Shepard was the MR-3 spacecraft umbilical head. To Gus Grissom we presented a section of the umbilical cable plus some other launchpad hardware that I converted into a desk lamp. The umbilical head from this flight became my souvenir. Later umbilical heads used in the Mercury-Atlas program were captured on the umbilical tower and reused.” Also includes a signed photo of Wendt with the Liberty Bell 7 capsule. This is the only known manned Mercury spacecraft umbilical head device in a private space collection—a remarkable, museum-quality piece. The Guenter Wendt Collection, ex. Ken Havekotte and Rick Boos.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.