The definitive source for information on collecting screen-used Star Trek props and costumes

Star Trek Props.com The Internet's premier source for information on collecting Star Trek props and costumes, as well as coverage of all major Star Trek auctions from the famous 2006 Christie's Star Trek auction, through the It's A Wrap Star Trek auctions on eBay and the Propworx Star Trek auctions. Star Trek Props is the best source for information of collecting original, screen-used props & costumes.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Profiles Auction Results

Well, Profiles Auction # 43 went off this past Friday & Saturday and I think it went true to form. Most items went about where one would expect and the items with the high reserves didn't sell. There were also some good bargains.

Here is the rundown:

Lot # 992, TOS Insignia $ 5,500


Well, this really is a premier piece of TOS history and I think it is a reasonable price. The fact that it is from the William Theiss collection is important and make the piece more valuable. You got to love solid provenance (especially since that is never something Profiles reveals much).

Lot # 1004, Starfleet HQ concept sketches $ 1,000

I liked this lot and I think it is a good price. Basically $ 500 each. I was close to going for this, but the holidays have money tight and I passed. Besides, I just pent a ton on some private sales. If the winner wants to sell one to me, let me know!


Lot # 1009, Maroon $ 5,500


Well, this piece wound up right where I expected it. The Sulu pieces drove up the price one would expect for a standard Maroon. So I think the buyer (A good friend of mine) did well with this.

Lot # 1025, Hero Boomerang Phaser $ 3,750

A good price on this I think. I think it could have gone at $ 5,000 no problem. So whoever got this did well.


Lot # 1027, Counselor Troi Monitor $ 1,200

This was a very good deal, maybe the best of the auction. A good character piece that will look great on display (something you all know is important to me!). At $ 1,200 plus BP it is a steal.


Lot # 1031, Picard Starfleet Academy Marathon Wall Placard $ 425

Another really good deal. This piece is an important piece of Star Trek history as we know Picard won the Starfleet Academy Marathon from "Best of Both Worlds Part One". So I like this piece and at this price a STEAL!


Lot # 1034, Brent Spiner Tricorder $ 2,000

Wow, this was another steal! $ 2,000 for a stunt Tricorder isn't bad. This one is attributed to Brent Spiner, which I generally don't give any credence too, but it was attributed by William Dolan, Set Decoration Lead from Star Trek: Insurrection. So it is OK in that case I guess.


Here are a few of the lots that did not sell:

Lot # 995 William Theiss Costume Sketches
$ 2,000 is just too high a starting bid. And obviously the lot isn't worth this much. Considering I bought a Captain Kirk costume sketch from TMP for $ 1,000, this lot should have started at that and may have finished around $ 1,500.


Lot # 996 Teri Garr "Roberta Lincoln" costume

A $ 20,000 opening bid is absurd. This costume is a $ 10,000 costume at best if you got lucky and got the right bidder who was rich, didn't have any sense about them, and loved that episode. So good luck finding THAT collector! It just isn't that important a costume!
Lot # 997 Barbara Anderson "Lenore Karidian" costume

If a $ 20,000 opening bid was absurd for the Teri Garr costume, it is insane for this one. This costume is a $ 5,000 costume at best. Mediocre costume, mediocre episode. MEH.

If this consignor came to me and asked for these reserves I wouldn't take the costumes. A waste of time.

Lot # 1026 Dummy Borg Head

Well, this started and failed to open at $ 1,000. This should have started at $ 500, but not a bad buy at $ 1,000 since everyone loves the Borg.

Well, I would love to hear what you won. Please post it on the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum!

Alec


Friday, December 17, 2010

Profiles Auction 43 today and tomorrow

Profiles in History has its 43rd Hollywood memorabilia auction today and tomorrow (Dec. 17 & 18) and it really is a great selection of props & costumes for all genres. And after the disaster that was the Piece of the Past auction yesterday, Profiles is a welcome breath of fresh air.

The Star Trek items will be Saturday since they are later in the auction. What is cool is there are some good TOS and TMP items.

I think the TOS patch set is really impressive. It has an estimate of $ 2,500-3,500 which I think is reasonable and it comes from William Theiss' personal collection, so the provenance is good.

The William Theiss costume sketches, lot # 995 has an awesome Osira costume sketch from That Which Survives, which I love. It also has a "Lenore Karidian" costume sketch from Conscience of the King. I have come to really enjoy costume sketches, and the Kirk one I own, by Robert Fletcher, is hanging over my Mantle.

There are two TOS costumes. The Teri Garr "Roberta Lincoln" costume from Assigment Earth and the "Lenore Karidian" costume from Conscience of the King. Now the Teri Garr costume is awesome as it is from a well loved episode and worn by a famous actress. However, the estimates of both costumes at $ 20-25,000 seem way high to me. The Teri Garr costume I see in the $ 10,000-15,000 range, and the Karidian costume in the $ 5,000 range. The Karidian is just not that important a costume.


The Original Concept Artwork of Vulcan Temple from Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a beautiful and very big piece by legendary artist Robert McCall. There is something to be said for owning a piece of Star Trek art by a famous artist (if you love their work). I bought a Bob peak preliminary for Star Trek III the Search for Spock and it is a beauty.


Sadly, my new apartment in California is much smaller than my huge townhome in Atlanta and my wall space is limited! Even my costumes are no longer on display in my home (thank goodness for my office). Anyway, I am a big believer that everything needs to be on display. and now I find that is always a factor in my purchases.

The Maroon is nice, but not a complete Sulu, so that will appeal only to a certain segment who don't mind paying a higher amount for a partial. I am not in the market for a Sulu, so I can't get too excited myself, but still a nice piece.

However, why is the jacket so wrinkled? You never see Maroons like this because the fabric is so thick. You can see this affects only the left side (as you look at it) and it is pretty clear that this wrinkle stops at the center seam. I would not be inclined to bid on it unless I got to inspect it because of this. The estimate is fair and I think $5,000 is not unreasonable.

Overall there are a lot of good items in this auction. I think what we are all seeing is there are so many good items out there (Propworx already has over 100 items for its March Star Trek auction, and that is just from two collectors!) that you have to be picky and you can afford to be.

Finally, Profiles in History has once again switched auction software providers from Live Auctioneer, which we at Propworx found had a serious bug in it, to iCollecter, which Profiles had switched to before, and then switched back to Live Auctioneer.

I would be VERY interested in hearing what you all think of the bidding experience between both providers as Propworx is thinking of switching to iCollector because of the bidding bug in Live Auctioneer (It sometimes shows you as the high bidder and then you don't win the item).

Best of luck to everyone bidding.

Alec

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Piece of the Past cancels auction at last minute!




Well, this auction has been a disaster since we first found it. And now, with 3 minutes left. the auction site closed down.

SHILL BIDDING?

Well, here is why. With just under 9 minutes to go, I see my bids are almost all bid up to the EXACT maximum. (3/4 were bid up to the max I had put in and 1 was just under). Now what are the odds of this considering how different my bids were? I took a shot of the bid summary at that time, and here it is:


I contacted POTP at 6:52 and told them to call me as I suspected foul play. Because of this, they canceled the auction. They felt it would look bad, and it probably would.

And then when I wrote that this smacked of shill bidding, they wrote:

"No idiot it doesnt what it smacks of is you sabotaging the auction from start to finish"

OK, well, calling me an idiot is not the way to resolve an issue.

Star Trek Forum User Philippe had the same problem:

Well I noticed exactly the same thing. I had a bid on one item 1 hour ago at my maximum and I was already feeling it weird but possible if we follow the increments process.

So I did increase my bid just in case to what I thought would be still a fair price but less than what we saw in PIH auction for the same item. Then my bid went fast to exactly my new limit. Was going to look at the number of bids to compare with previous one when the system "crashed".

You can imagine I feel this is a bit awkward. So hopefully somebody will have bid more than me during the crash because if not there is no way I will pay for this unless I know exactly what happened and I can see the bidding history. Even so would trust the bids if those are from someone from the forums. If not would still feel fishy.

Guess the forums will have quite a few comments to come on this auction.

Cheers,

Philippe.


AUCTION DISASTER

This auctions has been a disaster from Day 1.


1) Fake items

2) Wrong photos

3) Bad descriptions

4) Failure to disclose damage

5) No provenance

6) Crappy software

And then instead of coming on the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum and taking feedback, all Kevin did all week was bitch about collectors who knew nothing and whine that a member of the forum was using the name "Star Wares", which is the name of a company he supposedly bought. (No trademark, and no licensed business in CA, despite claims of both by Kevin Martin).


Was I wrong to want to cancel my bids? This auction was a disaster. I wanted to see it successful, and that is why I went to see the stuff and posted photos. But when you have fake items, and the photos and descriptions are so bad, and there is no provenance, well you are setting yourself up for failure.

I look forward to discussing this with you all on the Forum.

Alec

Piece of the Past final analysis

A lot has happened with this auction since I first found out about it two weeks ago. I have tried to be open and fair with Kevin Martin and the Piece of the Past Star Trek Auction he is running. Being that he is new to Star Trek auctions, I have tried to help, and have done a lot of work trying to authenticate many of the pieces. It is obvious that there were fakes mixed in with real items which is always a problem.

The biggest problem is the same problem we see over and over in this hobby. People assume that since an item was sold in an auction at Christie's or Butterfield's or Profiles that is provenance. It is not. Provenance is being able to prove where an item came from, and in this hobby it means tracing it back to the studio. In this auction we have no such proof.


Plus, there have been a lot of problems with this auction besides inadequate provenance. Inaccurate descriptions, fake items and the wrong photos were really unacceptable to most Star Trek collectors and has caused many of them on the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum to choose not to bid. What Kevin failed to realize, is that all the problems with the auction has cast doubt on the auction as a whole. Now, I am bidding on 4 items, but on 2 of them my bids are low as I have doubts about them. If I win them I will take them to Mike Moore of HMS, who is the real authority on those items and have him authenticate them. I know I can return them if they turn out to be fake and if I lose, I won't worry about it.

Ultimately, what we have is an auction of items bought 10 years ago, before the Star Trek collecting hobby was as sophisticated as it is now. People simply didn't know what was real and what was not. It is like the situation with the Mark English fakes in the early 80's. There was no Internet and people didn't know.

Remember, provenance is KING.

So here is the latest on the items where questions have been raised.

First, the Cardassian Pistol. Even though not mentioned in the auction ad, it is broken in two. The description says it was from a Paramount auction at Christie's, but no reference is given.



The Klingon Mek'Leth is unlike any one I have ever seen. The finish looks totally wrong. Without provenance I would pass.
The Horgh'an was one I was interested in, but passed when I compared it to the two I have handled, both of which had totally different finishes. They were matte and this one was glossy and too light. No provenance...pass.


The Klingon Knife is a United Cutlery Replica. Kevin maintains that the sheath is a real prop, but it doesn't match any I have seen and since the sheath fits the knife, I would pass without provenance.

A lot of questions have come up with this Tricorder. The graphics appear wrong and appear copied from the technical manual. No provenance.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Piece of the Past pulls two items

I contacted Star Trek prop maker Richard Coyle about the suspect Star Trek III Phaser and the Klingon Disruptor. Here is what he said:


The Star Trek III Phaser:

It looks like a very poor recast of one of my models that I used to make to sell to fans at a cons.

But it is not one of my models, not my work. too crappy.

The missing rail under the front end in front of the trigger is a mark of one of my early models as is the out of line LEDs in the Phaser One.

SO it is not off a original studio prop, it is off one of my models.

Rich


On the Klingon Disruptor Coyle said:

By the way the Klingon Pistol needing repairs is one of mine…

The two part body with the black handle is a tell.

The real ones were one part model and handle.

I think I should be involved with your site more often…

Sadly a lot of my old work shows up now as so called real props.

Rich


When I presented this info to Kevin at Piece of the Past he immediately withdrew the items.

Alec

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Piece of the Past "Generations" Kirk costume photos


"Generations" Captain Kirk death costume - stunt


The Kirk costume in the Piece of the Past Star Trek auction is a mix of a Shatner undershirt and stunt vest and pants. Interestingly both the vest and pants have slits in them for what was probably wires for a stunt rig,

This is an important costume, even though it is mostly stunt. And I think it is worth $ 4-5,000 or so. I hope these close ups help some.

Alec



Shirt Tag


Holes in the shirt


And holes in the vest


Vest Tag


Inside back of vest

Friday, December 10, 2010

Piece of the Past Star Trek auction photos

OK, here are photos of the items in this auction.

Cardassian Rifle
Resin, broken ends, unglued emitter tip and handles.

Klingon Knife One piece rubber


Klingon Disruptor
Needs repair


Bajoran Pistol
Boomerang Phaser


Appears correct. Good holster
Isolinear Chips

Horgon



ITEMS IN QUESTION

The following items need more inspection and research. Each presents potential red flags, but we really can't say anything one way or another at this point.

Cobra Head Phaser


Will be taking mine to compare as this one is very light. Not convinced.



Tricorder


Authenticity is up in the air at the moment. Graphics seem wrong. We are working on this.

Klingon Knife

This is a United Cutlery Klingon replica.




Mek'Leth


Ok, this looks TOTALLY wrong. Photo they used isn't even of the piece. Here is an actual photo. I have never seen one like this. Handle is NOT wrapped. Totally shiny and unlike anything I have ever seen.


Star Trek III Phaser

Obviously a cast off an original. Smaller, which means recast.



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Piece of the Past Star Trek auction next week.

A Hollywood memorabilia company, Piece of the Past, which is run by a long time collector and dealer named Kevin Martin, is holding a Star Trek auction next week. Kevin also runs The Hollywood Show, a major Hollywood autograph show and has been in the business a long time (He did one of the last private autograph signings with Ricardo Montalban).

The Star Trek auction is the collection of a private collector who has been buying at Christie's and Butterfield's auctions through the 1990's. And while most items have a Chirstie's tag on them, they are not from the 2006 Christie's Star Trek auction, but from various Christie's Hollywood Memorabilia auctions before then.

I visited Kevin at his office in Murrieta, CA (out by Lake Elsinore) and inspected all the pieces. Kevin is no newbie to Star Trek props & costumes, having worked with Paramount in the 1990s and sold many Star Trek items Paramount sold him then. This was all news to me, but very interesting to know.

So a few things about the auction:

1) The software isn't bad. It is not Live Auctioneer or iCollector, but I have no problems trusting it. It seems to work well.

2) The auctions all end at the same time. Kevin said he always does his auctions this way, but let's face it, it is not the way to run an online auction. I have been in the auction industry online since 1999, and I can tell you you WANT people to be able to bid on items at the last moment.

3) There is a 15% Buyer's Premium, which is very reasonable.

4) Unfortunately you can't enlarge the pictures, so that is disappointing.

5) The policies are not up on the site and I have told Kevin this, so they are changing it.

There will be more info up every day, so please keep checking back.



Kevin Martin's bio from his site:

Kevin Martin is one of, if not the most respected autograph and memorabilia dealers in the world. He is also one of the leading celebrity autograph authenticators in the industry. Besides his over 20 years of experience, he has published dozens of features in Collecting magazine, Autograph Collector Magazine's long-running column "Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries" and many other publications including Movie Collector World, Big Reel, The Robb Report, Antiques and Collecting, and more. Kevin Martin is also the author of several books including the standard yearly price guide The Official Autograph Collector Price Guide, as well as The Autograph Collector Guide to Authentication, and Signatures of the Stars. You may have also seen him on the longest-running autograph show in television history called "Showbiz Collectibles" on the Video Catalog Channel.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

HOW MUCH?


$ 26,000 for a Phaser? Well, this auction popped up on eBay with a $ 26,000 opening bid! Need less to say, this guy won't get anyone to buy it. And I don't know who the seller is. Is it real? No clue, but anyone who wants this much money should be putting some provenance in their eBay ad.

Alec

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Star Trek Thanksgiving

Well, I want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day we should all think about what we are thankful for, and one thing I am VERY thankful for is all my friends in Star Trek prop collecting.

It started at Christie's in 2006 when I met Dana Hammontree and Rob from Atlanta in line waiting for the doors to open. After that I kept meeting people who I have come to call friends. Jim Williams, my fellow DS9 maniac, Mark Short and Giles from London, our favorite Patrick Stewart look-alike, though we didn't become friends till the following year when I went to London and hung out with him. The crew from The Prop Store of London welcomed me into the hobby and their VIP suite. Stephen and Tim were awesome, and I also got to meet Andy (who won the Reliant), Bill Bayliss (who won the Kirk Maroon), and Dave Abberly (who won a bunch of stuff!). Bill and Dave let me crash on their floor the last night when I decided I was having too much fun to want to leave! I also met Jason (Prop King) and his brother, as well as Denise and Mike Okuda.


What a great time that was, and that got me writing my blog. That turned into starting the Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Forum where I have met so many fellow collectors.

Since then I have made so many great friends. Lyn, Carolan, Katie, Donna...the forum has a lot of awesome female collectors. Anthony Sforza, Aaron Carlson, Adam Schneider, Ray Cole, and of course Jorg, the Star Trek savant! Susie, Francis, Alex from Hong Kong, Grant the Canuck, Burt, Dave (Dochol), Althea, Darrin, John, Chris, Doc Brett, Willie, Kenny, Rob, Anthony Pascal from Trekmovie.com, Josef from Austria and of course Doug Drexler.


Oh I have probably missed one or two of you, but if so, you know who you are and how much I appreciate you. Thank you all for being my friend, sharing our passion for Star Trek together and supporting this blog and the Forum.

I wish you all every blessing!

Alec