Saturday, October 7th
Well, today was set to be the big day. Not one, but two HUGE Enterprise models were set to be auctioned, both of which were displayed in the auction room. Plus all the original series costumes were today, and I know that my new friends were all looking forward to that.
I found out that the Brits had secured a “sky box” of sorts. It was private room, a floor above the auction floor, that had a huge window overlooking the action. Stephen Lane, the owner of The Prop Store of London, the biggest and best prop retailer known to man, had connections with Christie’s, as he was involved in the upcoming December Entertainment Memorabilia Auction at Christie’s London. I guess Christie’s took car of him and his prop friends had a place to mingle and enjoy the auction. The Brits certainly know how to do things in style!
Well, Dana invited me up to the sky box and I got to hang out with the boys all day. Stephen, Andy, Bill, Dave and the rest were so friendly and welcoming. Of course Dave was no where to be found, as he was still sleeping off the night before. I am told he drank amazing amounts of alcohol and was up till about 5:00. Ah, I remember those days………………….
So the sober ones among us settled down for the final days bidding. I had my eye on the Captain Sulu Costume, which was from Star trek VI. You gotta love Sulu as Captain, and he has some great lines in that movie. The Red ST: Wrath of Khan style uniform is generally the most sought after costumes after TOS ones. They are beautiful in person. Very heavy gauge wool gabardine. The repros you see are never as good as the real ones because the use the wrong fabric.
Here is the gang in the sky box talking about the days items:
The auction started with Next Generation items. The Picard first season uniform went for $ 20,000, while his late season one went for only $ 9,000. His dress uniform went for $ 9,000 as well. Strong prices. Bidding on the Entrprise “C” model was VERY slow, and so Adrian, from the British contingent jumped in, even though he didn’t plan in bidding for it and stole it for $ 40,000! Stephen Lane from the Prop Store picked up the Romulan Warbird. Then the big Enterprise “D” came up for sale. This was a great auction, because the excitement was electrifying. We all assumed Paul Allen, of Microsoft fame, would be bidding on it for his Science Fiction Museum in Seattle. as many of you know, because it was all over the news, the “D” went for $ 500,000 and you can see the auction on YouTube.
After that the auction moved onto the original cast items from the TV and movies. It really started to heat up when the Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan items started. Most everyone will tell you that ST: TWOK is the best of the Trek movies, and its costumes and props are iconic. The one piece I wanted was Carol Marcus’s costume, which I always thought was cool and a significant guest cast piece. It looked great in the catalog as well and looked like the colors had held up well. But my new buddy Andy wanted it and he was willing to pay way more, so I didn’t bid on it. (I did get to see it after and it is BEAUTIFUL). Andy got a great deal on it and it is in good hands now.
The big costume was the one on display up front, which was the Kirk red and black movie costume. It is truly beautiful. Bill from the British group wanted this bad and won it. He also bid on a subsequent lot, which was a Kirk Star Trek III costume. There were two of those and Dave (who had finally stumbled in to the auction) won the other.
Then a funny thing happened. Kirk’s Star Trek: The Motion picture grey jumpsuit came up for sale. An item I liked, but figured, with the way bidding was going, was out of price range. Heck, the three insignia alone had gone separately for $ 3,000 and they were on this costume. But the auction started VERY slow, so i jumped in. I bid it up to $ 3,400 and was outbid at $ 3,600. I hesitated. I really wanted to save my money for the Sulu Captain’s uniform. Just then Andy, who was sitting next to me, leaned over, elbowed me in the ribs and said “It’s a KIRK!”. So I raised my paddle again and go no return bids and won it for a mere $ 3,800! Everyone thought I stole it and I was almost in shock. I actually had won a Captain Kirk costume! Well, if I wasn’t hooked on collecting Star Trek memorabilia before, I certainly was now. Thanks Andy! I really appreciate your prodding! On the right is the uniform, as it was shown in the preview with the Red and Black uniform that Bill won.
I also happened to get the matching Will Decker Jumpsuit out of a lot that Andy won. Andy won the Captain Kirk ST:TMP dress uniform, as he had wisely picked it out as such at the preview. The Decker gave me two matching jumpsuits from The Motion Picture captain’s. (In the movie, Decker is the new captain of the Enterprise, but Kirk relieves him to take command to meet the probe menacing Earth).
The other good thing about winning the Kirk, was that the Captain Sulu costume (like the Kirk above, red and black) went for $ 13,000, out of my budget. So I would go home happy with a great deal.
The auction moved through some original series items including McCoy’s space suit from “The Tholian Web” which set a record for a Star Trek costume at $ 120,000!!!! I don’t know what the guy was smoking, but I hope it has plenty of it, because when he wakes up out of his stupor, he is going to realize he spent a fortune on that piece! (unless it is Paul Allen, to whom this was a rounding error). T’Pau’s costume from “Amok Time” went for a healthy $ 45,000.
We now approached the climax, the last group of models that would end the show with the sale of the Enterprise A filming model. But before that model would come up for bidding, the two Starship Reliant models from Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan were to be auctioned. Andy wanted the smaller one very badly. he is a huge ST:TWOK fan as it is what brought him into the world of Star Trek. And in this auction he won both the Carol Marcus costume, as well as the Joachim vest . He had been talking about the Reliant the whole auction and now it was coming up. I was sitting next to Andy (I owed him a jab in the ribs) and when the bidding started, Andy would not bring his paddle down. He was on a mission and you could see it. The bidding got over $ 20,000 and Andy started to hesitate. Now I wasn’t going to urge on anyone to spend that kind of money, but when Andy stopped bidding, one of the guys did give Andy a push, and he bid again. When the bidding stopped, Andy was the proud owner of the Reliant! I have since seen the model and it is indeed a beauty.
Well, the last auction was for the Enterprise A filming model. This was STUNNING and stood at the front of the room the whole time. This model was built for Star Trek: The Motion Picture and was used in every subsequent film, being redressed as the Enterprise “A” for Star Trek IV. Now I think this is a way more impressive model than the Enterprise “D”. I never liked the “D” anyway, but even if you do, this is THE enterprise. Here are some photos to show the great detail and scale of this beast.
And finally to give a sense of scale. The Enterprise and me:
The Enterprise A went for a VERY disappointing $ 240,000, less than half of what the “D” went for. Not sure why, as I think most people will tell you it is the much more desirable one! None the less, it ended a spectacular auction which was absolutely some of the most fun I have ever had. And the history channel has immortalized it on film and will be releasing a DVD for Star Trek’s 40th anniversary with a lot on this auction.
In my next post I will discuss what happened after the auction and some thoughts on the auction and the prices realized.