4,000 `Star Trek' items to go on auction block

May 21, 2006|By ETHAN SACKS | ETHAN SACKS,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

NEW YORK -- Set Trekkies on stunned.

Boldly going where no auction house has gone before, Christie's announced last week that it will sell more than 4,000 official pieces of Star Trek memorabilia.

The Oct. 5-7 auction will take place on the 40th anniversary of the debut of the seminal science fiction television show, which spun off five series and 10 movies.

When informed of the auction a month ago by the head auctioneer at Christie's, "I started laughing. I don't know what other reaction makes sense," said Leonard Nimoy, who immortalized the role of Mr. Spock in the original series.

"I don't think anybody 40 years ago had any idea that it would get this big," Nimoy said. "It was a day-to-day struggle to keep the show on the air, frankly."

Four decades later, the films alone have grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, according to Variety.

The items up for sale, from the studio archives of CBS Paramount Television, include props, spaceship models and set pieces from every era of Star Trek, said Cathy Elkies, director of special collections for Christie's.

"What makes Star Trek really unique is that there are really several generations of Star Trek fans," Elkies said. "I expect them to be really quite active as buyers."

It will take fans more than a few Federation credits to buy items such as a model of the Enterprise used in visual effects for the movie Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country. It's valued at $15,000 to $25,000.

Other highlights include:

A replica of Capt. James T. Kirk's (William Shatner) chair from the original series, made for a 1996 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode.

A Starfleet jumpsuit worn by Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

An officer's uniform worn by Spock in the first film.

"I just wish I had several outfits to sell," Nimoy said, laughing.

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