August 18, 2006

Fans get chance at new “Star Trek” bible

By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fans of "Star Trek" get a new
chronicle of the enormously popular franchise with the release
next week of a 500-page catalog of the memorabilia to be
auctioned off this fall in Manhattan.

The splashy two volumes feature some 4,000 items, from a
costumer's clipboard to a model of the starship Enterprise
estimated to sell for as much as $35,000 at the three-day
auction at Christie's in October.

"People are flipping out" over the catalog, said Cathy
Elkies, Christie's director of special collections, from Las
Vegas, where "Trekkies" were gathered for the annual Star Trek

"It's an amazing visual journey, really more of a reference
bible chronicling 40 years of 'Star Trek,"' she said of the
catalog, written by Michael and Denise Okuda, authors of the
"Star Trek Encyclopedia," who also worked on the television
shows and films.

With color photos, extensive footnotes, commentary,
anecdotes and quotes, the coffeetable-worthy tome is limited to
a run of 10,000 and is pre-selling well at $90, Elkies said.

Most of the items on auction are models and miniatures,
costumes and props and, with price estimates as low as $100,
fans can at least dream of scoring an item.

But prices at memorabilia auctions can soar, and Elkies
said the value of objects with such devoted fan bases is
notoriously difficult to gauge.

"We don't factor in that emotional fury generated around
this kind of material," she said.

Past auction estimates for items owned by pop-culture icons
such as Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy were far off the
mark, with winning bids reaching 10 and even 100 times the
pre-sale projections.

Given the strong interest in the sale, Christie's has
instituted a lottery for admission with a September 15
application deadline.