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Firsthand Account of the Christie's Star Trek Auction 151

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-a-lot-of-gold-pressed-latinum dept.
DustCollector writes to mention a Scientific American blog post about the highly successful Star Trek auction at Christie's on Thursday. The props, from many different shows, went for far more than was estimated. From the article: "The auction board flickered in perpetual motion as dollars changed along with the equivalent in euros, British pounds, Hong Kong dollars and Japanese yen (what, no quatloos?). Picard's Enterprise-E captain's chair, estimated to sell for $7,000-$8,000, went for $52,000. Two prop wine bottles of 'Chateau Picard,' estimated to go for $500 to $700, sold for $5,500. 'That's probably a record for empty wine bottles,' the auctioneer quipped. The sale prices so exceeded the estimated price that absentee bidders--those who place a maximum and hope for the best--hardly stood a chance: I counted only two successful absentee bids in the first 124 lots."
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Firsthand Account of the Christie's Star Trek Auction

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  • Shocking (Score:5, Funny)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Sunday October 08, 2006 @12:28AM (#16352693) Journal
    You know those guys we always used to beat up in gum class?

    Yeah, they ended up with all the money.

    I'm being sarcastic of course, I lacked the bicepts to ever raise a fist in anger/frustration ...
    • What *DID* you do in school?

      Poking fun. :-)

    • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Funny)

      by Osty (16825) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @12:32AM (#16352715)

      Yeah, they ended up with all the money.

      But now they only have empty wine bottles, and Christie's has all the money.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I was always made to get rid of my gum in class.
    • by Tablizer (95088)
      used to beat up in gum class

      I think you got it backward. Gum class is where you go AFTER you get your face smashed in.
           
  • obviously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macadamia_harold (947445) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @12:29AM (#16352699) Homepage
    The high bids made me wonder just why people were willing to pay thousands of dollars for cast resin and foam.

    It's not just "cast resin and foam". It's "cast resin and foam" that was in Star Trek
  • by waynemcdougall (631415) <slashdot@codeworks.gen.nz> on Sunday October 08, 2006 @12:38AM (#16352737) Homepage
    Full-scale models of the Enterprise-A and Enterprise-D dominated the front of the room.

    Full-scale? That must have been a large room.

  • Picard's Flute (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bwave (871010)
    No mention of the flute from 'The Inner Light' that Picard played. I was thinking of putting in an absentee bid on that, but I knew no way I'd get it. I think they first listed it for something like $300, then upped it to $800 because of interest. Can't imagine what it really went for.
    • Re:Picard's Flute (Score:5, Informative)

      by Y-Crate (540566) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @12:51AM (#16352791)
      No mention of the flute from 'The Inner Light' that Picard played. I was thinking of putting in an absentee bid on that, but I knew no way I'd get it. I think they first listed it for something like $300, then upped it to $800 because of interest. Can't imagine what it really went for.
      $40,000
    • by cerebis (560975)

      In my best Simpson's Comic Store owner voice

      "Best episode ever!"

      That was one item I considered bidding on when Christies first announced the auction

      • by Ster (556540)

        Ditto.

        Of course, I looked at the "estimated" price, thought about how many dot-com millionaires managed to actually cash out with millions, and how many of them must be fans, and realised I didn't have a chance.

        :-(

        /me whistles the tune from /The Inner Light/

        -Ster

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08, 2006 @12:44AM (#16352765)
    You better get some kind of certificate of authentication so your
    parents can sell it after you move out of the basement.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tehlinux (896034)
      ftfa: No jokes about living in parents' basement, please--these buyers can afford their own places.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bennomatic (691188)
        Yes, but have they ever kissed a girl?

      • by arth1 (260657)
        ftfa: No jokes about living in parents' basement, please--these buyers can afford their own places.

        True. Makes me wonder how many of the buyers are going to either appreciate what they got or let others appreciate it, and not just use it as an investment or marketing gimmick.
        IMHO, a few of these items truly belong at the Smithsonian.

        Regards,
        --
        *Art
      • by Tablizer (95088)
        No jokes about living in parents' basement, please--these buyers can afford their own places.

        It does not matter, we....I mean they *are* Trek Fans. Maybe they will snaz up the basement with the money.
             
  • FTA (Score:5, Informative)

    by nihaopaul (782885) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @12:52AM (#16352799) Homepage
    Some notable items and sale prices, along with original estimates in parentheses:

    -Borg alcove: $8,000 ($700)
    -Borg mannequin: $9,000 ($800)
    -Worf's Klingon baldric sash: $3,200 ($300)
    -Six Romulan Senate chairs: $1,900 ($800)
    -Type 2 phaser from Star Trek: Nemesis: $3,200 ($1,200)
    -17-inch tall latex-foam statue of Zephraim Cochrane: $5,500 ($500)
    -Captain Picard's black-and-grey uniform: $15,000 ($8,000)
    -Borg cube model, 30 inches across (the small one): $80,000 ($1,500)
    -Enterprise-E model: $110,000 ($12,000)

    --
    i got a picture i drew when i was a kid of the enterprise, i've priced it at $3 for cost of supplies, its coloured in pen to! taking bids
    • From the looks of things, it looks like the estimators consistantly undervalued these items by either 50% or an entire order of magniture.
    • -Enterprise-E model: $110,000 ($12,000)

      That's odd. Maybe it's just me, but I thought the Enterprise-E was a 100% digital effects model? Why would they bother creating a physical model if they're only shooting the digital set? The only thing I can think of is a rough model to prototype the design before making a digital version.

      Anyone have the deal on this, or do I need to run scandisk on my brain?
      • by SDF-7 (556604)
        It is just you. The Ent-E went 100% digital in later movies (I believe Insurrection was fully digital -- could have been a mix, though... certainly Nemesis was), but used a physical model in First Contact. Presumably, that was the version auctioned off.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by istewart (463887)
          The ramming scene in Nemesis actually used a physical model of the Ent-E's saucer. Everything else was digital, though.
      • It was actually the Enterpise D... someone misspoke.
        • no it was the E, First Contact used a physical E model along with its digital one. Only later when they changed the E did it become fully digital
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DarrylM (170047)
        "That's odd. Maybe it's just me, but I thought the Enterprise-E was a 100% digital effects model? Why would they bother creating a physical model if they're only shooting the digital set? The only thing I can think of is a rough model to prototype the design before making a digital version."

        <geek_mode>
        From the Star Trek The Next Generation Companion, the First Contact movie used minatures for most of the space scenes, including a 10 foot model of the Enterprise-E. I'm assuming this was the one sold
      • by blincoln (592401)
        Why would they bother creating a physical model if they're only shooting the digital set?

        A *really* well-built and shot model can still look at least as convincing as a CG render, IMO. Look at the Discovery in 2001 (which was enormous), the ships in all the Alien films (even the awful Resurrection has two great-looking ships that were made to look even nicer by the lighting and film stock used), the Super Star Destroyer, etc.

        CG has been used to make some neat space ships, but in my experience they don't usu
    • The 78" Enterprise-D model built by ILM went for $576,000. How low was its estimate?
    • by syousef (465911)
      > -Captain Picard's black-and-grey uniform: $15,000 ($8,000)

      Fuck I hope that was laundered before it was auctioned off. I imagine it was worn quite a bit and I know I wouldn't pay USD15k for a sweaty jogging suite worn by Patrick Stewart a few years ago.
  • I am wondering if anyone knows where I could find a complete list of items and their sale prices? I am curious what some of it went for.
  • How much for William Shatner?
    • by metlin (258108)
      How much for William Shatner?

      You get him, and the next thing you know, you're going to be hit by a crap-ton of paternity suits.

      By women.

      Alien women, at that.

      Goodluck, buddy. Now, Tasha Yar on the other hand...
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by technos (73414)
      Well, considering Shatner is Priceline's whore for about $6 million, my bet is you could own him lock, stock, and toupee for about ten.

      He became spokesman for a one time payment of 125K shares in the company. He sold off 35K @ $90, or $3.15 million, and has 90K outstanding @ the potential price today of 38.50, or $3.47 million.
      • by Lactoso (853587) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @02:24AM (#16353103) Homepage
        "Well, considering Shatner is Priceline's whore for about $6 million"

        'whore'? I think you need to hold either the higher moral or economic ground to make that kind of statement. I 'whored' myself out to former employers for considerably less. :-(

        • by technos (73414)
          whore'? I think you need to hold either the higher moral or economic ground to make that kind of statement. I 'whored' myself out to former employers for considerably less. :-(

          Well, it would be nice to have either, or preferably both, but alas, I also sell my soul by the slice for far less money than he made out of that gig, and am gifted with not only a foul mouth but a certain ethical flexibility that would have one believing I had been elected to public office.

          I have no defense for what I said about Mr.
    • William Shatner is free, but there's a $3,000,000 fee if^h^hwhen you return him.
    • by Megane (129182)

      How much for William Shatner?

      That prop hasn't aged so well in Paramount's storage. Now instead of saying things like "beam me up Scotty", it says nothing but "Denny Crane!" over and over.

  • Funding (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PresidentEnder (849024) <wyvernenderNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday October 08, 2006 @01:10AM (#16352865) Journal
    So... wait. People are willing to pay a grand total of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the old props, right...?

    How much does it cost to make a season of Star Trek?

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @01:14AM (#16352883)
    The Summary:
    The props, from many different shows, went for far more than was estimated.


    Appraisers working for auctions routinely set estimates lower than what they really expect the item will fetch at auction - both to encourage bidders to step up to the plate early on and so the auction can claim to get "much higher prices" than expected, thus enforcing the Christie's premium name to sellers/estates who are thinking of consigning items there. Afterall, they have to compete with Sothebys.

    And if it turns out to be a very bad auction, at worst, they'll probably just hit estimates - and that doesn't sound as bad P/R wise than missing estimates entirely.
    • Use your own judgement: Would you have expected a 10-foot piece of foam to go for the price of a house in Wyoming or some random god-forsaken place?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by no haters (714135)

      Appraisers working for auctions routinely set estimates lower than what they really expect the item will fetch at auction - both to encourage bidders to step up to the plate early on and so the auction can claim to get "much higher prices" than expected

      This is ridiculous. Please try to use some common sense. Have you ever worked in an auction house? The Christie's premium name to sellers/estates has to do with 2 things: The amount of money (people) they can bring to bid to an auction and the ACCURACY

      • by rolfwind (528248)
        This is ridiculous. Please try to use some common sense. Have you ever worked in an auction house?


        Yes. Next please.
    • Appraisers working for auctions routinely set estimates lower than what they really expect the item will fetch at auction - both to encourage bidders to step up to the plate early on and so the auction can claim to get "much higher prices" than expected, thus enforcing the Christie's premium name to sellers/estates who are thinking of consigning items there. Afterall, they have to compete with Sothebys.

      That mentality can backfire, of course. Some people might look at the results and conclude that the ap

  • by techno-vampire (666512) on Sunday October 08, 2006 @01:20AM (#16352891) Homepage
    I found the number of currencies used interesting, and can imagine the work needed to get them converted back and forth fast enough to keep up with the action. One thing, though, there was no mention of bars of gold-pressed latinum.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by uvajed_ekil (914487)
      One thing, though, there was no mention of bars of gold-pressed latinum.

      This was essentially a memorabilia auction, and as such consisted mainly of props and not metals/currency. For the current prices of metals, you may want to look to the New York Mercantile Exchange, and google for precious metals retailers. I'd give you a direct link for gold-pressed latinum, but I think my computer is acting up, as I can't seem to find a good one just now.

      "Computer, what are the nearest sources of gold-pressed lati

      • by Megane (129182)

        "Computer, what are the nearest sources of gold-pressed latinum" yields no results, for me.

        Well there's your problem. You asked it for sources of GPL, not where you could acquire it. Your computer doing a search of the entire Glactinet to check each and every planet for GPL ore deposits or mining, so that it could then sort by distance. Your petaQ Pentium would take approximately three months to finish that search, and that's only if you had a 100Mbit fiber connection.

        • ``"Computer, what are the nearest sources of gold-pressed latinum" yields no results, for me.

            Well there's your problem. You asked it for sources of GPL, not where you could acquire it.''

          Of course, with GPL, you do get the sources... (badda-bing).

          -- Terry
      • Of course there were no bars of gold-pressed latinum for sale. I was a tad surprised that there were no bids of the form "five bars of gold-pressed latinum." After all, they were used as a currency.
  • .. the formula for transparent aluminum.
    • by GFree (853379)
      But then you'd be altering the future!
    • Too bad it'd take years to figure out the dynamics of its matrix. But when you do, you'd be rich beyond the dreams of Averase.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You want it. here it is.

      Al2O3, also known as Transparent alumina.

      You people should know full well most of Gene's ideas were BASED on real science. Transporters, Tractor Beam, Deuterium, Antimater are all real.
    • What, you couldn't say Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, Jeri Ryan, Majel Barrett?

      Get out of the basement, man.

      Sheesh.
      • by rackrent (160690)
        Majel Barrett was also Nurse Chapel in TOS (as if you didn't know).

        She was quite pretty, then.
    • I love ST4 and besides the scenes with Spock trying to use "colorful metaphors," my favorite scene is when Mccoy hands Scotty the mouse who then tries to talk to the computer with it. I laugh every time I see that. Even better is when Nichols tells Scotty to use the keyboard who then starts typing away on it like he has used a QWERTY keyboard his whole life... That movie is simply a classic!
      • I love ST4 and besides the scenes with Spock trying to use "colorful metaphors," my favorite scene is when Mccoy hands Scotty the mouse who then tries to talk to the computer with it.

        I still love Scotty's line: "You're still working with polymers?!?"

  • Cure world hunger or bid on an original Enterprise model. Decisions, decisions.
  • How much for the attorney fees for the patent to Warp Speed engines that have been made public domain from the outset? What about for the IP to improbability engines?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Lot #712 Selling Price: $576,000

    Lot Title STARSHIP ENTERPRISE-D
    Estimate 25,000 - 35,000 U.S. dollars
    Lot Description STARSHIP ENTERPRISE-D
    The hero visual effects miniature of the Starship Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation, fiber-reinforced cast resin construction with internal neon lighting [untested] on an aluminum armature with motion control mounts, with motion-control mounting hardware, power supply box [untested] marked "obsolete" and box marked "neon lights" -- 78x59
    • Lot #712 Selling Price: $576,000

      Lot Title STARSHIP ENTERPRISE-D

      built by the Industrial Light and Magic Model Shop for "Encounter At Farpoint," the pilot movie for Star Trek: The Next Generation, featured in the show's main title sequence and in many subsequent episodes

      That's rediculous for a prop that doesn't serve any functions.

      It's... the... ENTERPRISE. The starship Enterprise. Galaxy-class, NCC-1701-D. The actual Enterprise, the one on the screen, this is it. It's not just some prop they used once

  • I'd hire Bill Shatner to sing me a "happy birthday" song. Will be worth every penny (or quatloo)!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Tablizer (95088)
      I'd hire Bill Shatner to sing me a "happy birthday" song. Will be worth every penny

      I don't know dude. Based in his previous commericial recording experiments, I don't think I want to be there when he hits a note that no man has hit before.
         
      • I don't think I want to be there when he hits a note that no man has hit before.

        Would that be this note [wikipedia.org]?
      • I'm just saying, it's something that I'm gonna remember for ever! Well, at least until I'm senile.

        Bad memories are memories too, you know! They have rights!
  • by ndogg (158021) <the DOT rhorn AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday October 08, 2006 @03:01AM (#16353233) Homepage Journal
    A ferengi is crying happy tears.
  • Have other TV shows had this kind of frenzy? Like how much would Maryann's original shorts go for? Lotta memories in those babies.
         
  • I wonder if the auctioned off the costume of the character Kivas Fajo [memory-alpha.org] from the TNG episode "The Most Toys"? It would have been an appropriate acquisition for these bidders under the cirumstances.
  • Wouldn't it be much cheaper to hire the prop makers?
  • All they would have had to offer were some of Marina Sirtis's & Denise Crosby's "gently used" undergarments.

    LK
    • All they would have had to offer were some of Marina Sirtis's & Denise Crosby's "gently used" undergarments.

      The ones with the tailored camel-toes?

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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