Huston Huddleston is known as the man who saved the bridge. He rescued and refurbed a Paramount-built bridge set for the Enterprise-D. Much of it was salvageable, but the captain's chair had succumbed to five years of weathering and rotting. A replacement was built and the whole set went on a tour of various fan conventions.
During that time, celebrities ranging from Walter Koenig (Checkov from the original "Star Trek") to Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher from "The Next Generation") have taken their turns in the seat. Even Bruce Campbell and Stan Lee have parked their butts in the chair. You now have a shot at owning this unusual piece of memorabilia. It's up for auction on eBay.
The reason the chair is for sale is because Huddleston is a bit of a perfectionist. There were several minor mistakes in the measurements and details of the chair that keep it from being an exact replica. A new chair built to blueprint specifications is being made, so the old one gets to go to some lucky fan.
Proceeds from the sale are going to the nonprofit New Starship Foundation, the group behind the bridge restoration project and plans for a Hollywood science fiction museum.
The captain's chair is no cheap prop. It weighs 240 pounds, sits on a metal base, and has arms that light up. Herman Zimmerman, production designer for "The Next Generation," was quoting as saying "It looks better than it did on the set." That's high praise for the chair's restoration, despite some of the measurements being off.
The chair currently has a $3,550 top bid, with about five days to go. Shipping the beast is up to the buyer, but that will probably cost at least a couple hundred dollars. Owning this chair may be the closest you'll get to being Captain Picard. Plus, just imagine parking your rear in the same place where so many luminaries of sci-fi have sat before. It's enough to warm both your buns and your heart.