Saturday, October 07, 2006

Auction Follow-up

by Ken Houghton

Following up to this post, we have some data points. The overview:
More than 1,000 items from the archives of CBS Paramount Television Studios went on the block over three days at Christie's auction house, and fans forked over a total of $7.1 million for set furniture, pointy Vulcan ears and other props.

Proof that TNG fans have too much DI:
A model of the Starship Enterprise used in the pilot and title sequences of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" sold for $576,000 Saturday at an auction of costumes, sets and props from 40 years of the "Star Trek" sci-fi franchise.

The 78-inch-long miniature of the "Enterprise-D," built by Industrial Light and Magic, debuted in 1987 in the episode "Encounter at Farpoint," and then was used in many subsequent episodes, as well as the film "Star Trek Generations."

I'm fairly certain this was Tom's "top item," though at a much lower estimate ["estimated at $25,000-$35,000"]. I'm also guessing he wasn't the top bidder.

Evidence that TOS fans are saving for our Social Security:
Other top sellers from Saturday's auction included a spacesuit belonging to the series' Dr. McCoy from the episode "The Tholian Web,"* which fetched $144,000; and a replica of Captain James T. Kirk's chair on the bridge in the first Star Trek series.

And a strange data point:
The painted wood [replica of Captain James T. Kirk's chair on the bridge in the first Star Trek series] for a 1996 episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" that mixed action from that newer series with old footage, but it still sold for $62,400.

Don't know how to treat that one. But there is some glimmer of hope: after Enterprise went from being "the show that launched a network" to "the show that sunk a network," the auction was not televised. However,
Some Christie's employees taking bids by telephone wore Star Trek uniforms, and a live feed of the auction was carried on the History Channel's Web site.

Coming soon, a review of How William Shatner Changed the World.

*My admittedly-vague memory is that McCoy was in a space suit only at the very beginning of the episode, if at all. I suspect Kirk's suit, which was shown throughout the episode, would have fetched more than just a gross of Clevelands.
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