May 18, 2006
Christie’s to hold “Star Trek” garage sale
By Chris Michaud
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Trekkies will be setting their phasers
to "bid" this fall when Christie's holds the first official
studio auction of memorabilia from all five "Star Trek"
television series and 10 movie spin-offs.
CBS Paramount Television Studios is cleaning out its vaults
for the sale, comprising more than 1,000 lots totaling some
4,000 items, to be held from October 5 to 7 in conjunction with
the 40th anniversary of the original "Star Trek" series,
Christie's announced on Thursday.
Fans and collectors will have a chance to acquire "Star
Trek" artifacts ranging from models of the "Starship" USS
Enterprise to Capt. James Kirk's uniform or Capt. Jean-Luc
Picard's jumpsuit in an auction where Christie's expects to
raise more than $3 million.
Other items to hit the block include props, weapons,
prosthetics and set dressings unearthed from five Paramount
Among the highlights are a miniature of the Starship
Enterprise used in visual effects for the film "Star Trek: The
Undiscovered Country," expected to sell for $15,000 to $25,000,
and a replica of Kirk's chair from the original TV series that
was recreated for the 1996 "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode
"Trials and Tribble-ations," which is estimated at $10,000 to
Fans with more modest budgets can train their sights on a
host of Trekkie ephemera like the 10-inch Resikkan nonplaying
prop brass flute used by Patrick Stewart as Picard in the
episode "The Inner Light" in "Star Trek: The Next Generation,"
which carries a low estimate of just $300.
Cathy Elkies, director of special collections at
Christie's, said the value of the objects was difficult to
gauge because "we don't factor in that emotional fury generated
around this kind of material."
Past estimates for auctions associated with the likes of
Marilyn Monroe or Jacqueline Kennedy, who enjoyed dedicated
followings, have been far off the mark as actual sale prices
soared to five, 10 and even 100 times presale projections.
"Star Trek" fans, with their Web sites, conventions and clubs,
have proven among the most wildly devoted in all of pop
"To several generations of people, 'Star Trek' was a
cultural icon that represented our dreams, our hopes and our
aspirations -- what we can become as a species, what we aspire
to," said Mike Okuda, a graphic designer on four of the TV
series and seven of the motion pictures as well as co-author of
"The Star Trek Encyclopedia." "And to have a tangible piece of
that is to have a tangible piece of a dream."
With the original captain's chair from the first "Star
Trek" series in the Museum of Science Fiction in Seattle and
the original Enterprise miniature at the Smithsonian's Air and
Space Museum in Washington, other items from the 1960s show
could be the most sought-after at auction.
Okuda said many of the first "Star Trek" props were reused,
destroyed or disappeared. But the auction will feature a
mustard-colored mini-dress from the first series as well as
costumes worn by guest stars, such as a gown worn by famed
attorney Melvin Belli who played an evil alien entity.
"Star Trek" fans will get a peek at the collection when the
memorabilia goes on tour this week in Germany.
Conceived by author Gene Roddenberry in the mid-1960s, the
original "Star Trek" series debuted in 1966.
The last TV series, "Enterprise," set in the early 22nd
century, about 100 years before the adventures of Kirk's
five-year mission, ended its run on the UPN network in 2005.
(Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles)