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Monday, October 13, 2014

Prop Store Auction - Star Trek Preview





Thursday, October 16th, Prop Store is having its first ever auction.  There are 378 lots, 13 of which are Star Trek lots.  However, there are a lot of issues a collector needs to deal with before buying in this auction.  

It is an expensive auction to take part in because it is happening in the UK and not in the USA.  Because of this, EU buyers will be paying almost 50% ABOVE the Hammer price (BP & VAT) and US buyers will not only be paying 25% in fees, but 20% VAT tax on the Buyer's premium PLUS shipping from the UK.


I got to be honest, having this auction in the UK is not a good decision for bidders.  Prop Store should have one this auction out of their US office. I can only think they believe they have more EU customers than US customers.

So before we dive into reviewing those items, a few notes on the auction.

1)  It is happening in the UK.  Meaning the auction happens 7 hours ahead of Pacific Time.

2)  The prices are all in UK Pounds.  So pay attention to that.  Currently £1 GBP = $ 1.61. 

3)  There is a 20% Buyer's Premium, PLUS 3% for bidding online, PLUS 2% for credit cards.

If you are in the EU you will also have to pay 20% VAT PLUS 20% VAT on the Buyer's Premium!

If you are outside of the EU you will still be responsible for 20% VAT on the Buyer's Premium for lots with a dagger or omega next to them.

OK, got all, that? I have to say that a lot of collectors have expressed that they will not be partaking in this auction due to the high costs.  Plus, the day AFTER this auction, Profiles starts its 4 day auction.  So I think that unless you really want something, passing is not a bad idea.  I wish this auction was in the US as I think it would have been much more interesting and affordable!

So let's start the review.



Lot # 282, 283  Star Trek II Scripts

I think these are both nice items, which are not a bad deal at less than $ 500.  Note the estimate is £200-300 each.  That is $ 320-480 and so keep in the that range and even with a 25% Buyer's Premium, and VAT you are OK.


Lot # 284  USS Excelsior Bridge Concept Art

An interesting item though I am not sure what this will bring.  I have found Star Trek concept art all over the board, but rarely very expensive.  Does this item sing to you?  If so, go for it.  But don't go overboard.




Lot # 285  Vulcan Planet Concept Art

Much more interesting and very recognizable.  I happen to like this piece so I think at the estimate of £400 - 600 or roughly $ 650 - $ 1,000 it is not a bad deal.  Note the size.  It is small at 8" x 14".


Lot # 286  Bird of Prey Landing Concept Art

A beautiful piece, but is it worth £2,000 - 3,000, or $3,200 - 4,800 PLUS Buyer's Premium PLUS VAT?   I think this is just way too high. But again, Star trek concept art is all over the place but I dont think this is worth that much.  Again, note the size of 8" x 14".

Lot # 287   Captain Kirk Costume

This Kirk costume is nice, and relatively complete.  This was lot # 850 at Christie's and sold there for $ 9,600 with premium.  (Christie's sale results for the Star Trek auction are here)So here Prop Store thinks it is worth $ 16,000 - $ 19,000. 

I doubt it.  This simply isn't a very desirable Kirk costume.  It isn't a Starfleet uniform, but it was his costume in Star Trek III/IV.   This costume really hasn't gone up in value IMHO since Christie's in 2006.  I think it would be strong at $ 10,000.  Where Prop Store is looking I say pass.



Lot # 288 is a beautiful Ralph McQuarrie Starfleet HQ study painting.  While stunning, it is a very small 8" x 10" and I don't think this is worth anywhere close to £3-5,000, which translates to roughly $ 5,000 - 8,000.  

My guess is this piece won't sell. I think it is a $ 2,000 piece because of its small size.  If it was large, I might say their estimate is right.  But it is tiny.



Lot 289 is the Assassin's Boots from Star Trek VI and there are at least two US collectors who I know will go after these as they have helmets.   Listed with an estimate of £1,500 - 2,000, these will go in the £2,000 - 3,000 range is my guess.  That is roughly $3,000 - 5,000.

Lot 290, the Tricorder, lacks provenance.  Where is this from?  Who authenticated it?  Without these questions answered I think it is problematic.  So if you are interested, call Prop Store and find out.  If it is real, then I think their estimate of £2-2,500, or $ 3,200 - 4,000 is pretty fair.


Lot # 291 "Lessons" keyboard.  

A very cool prop, that is sadly deteriorating badly.  I think the estimate is probably a bit high at £2-2,500, or $ 3,200 - 4,000.  I see this as a $2,000 - $2,500 piece, unless someone really has a strong feeling for the episode.  Remember, you have to add 25% if bidding online and paying with a credit card PLUS a 20% tax on the Buyer's Premium.

Lot # 292 Star Trek (2009) Starfleet Cadet Uniform

I know this costume well.  My two friends passed this between them back and forth for $1,500 for a few years. So at the listed £2,000 - 3,000, or $3,200 - 4,800 PLUS Buyer's Premium PLUS VAT, I think this is just way too high.  Plus, there were hundreds of these made.  And eventually they will all get out.
 

Lot # 293 Romulan Costume

This has an estimate of £1,500 - 2,000.  Remember that is POUNDS.  Meaning that is $2,400 - 3,200.  Add BP plus VAT and I think this is just too expensive.    I don't think this is more than a $ 2,000 costume.

Lot # 294 Romulan Disruptor Rifle


As with the above pieces, this is from the original Julien's auction where a bunch of Star Trek 2009 items were auctioned off for JJ Abrahms.  It also has an estimate of £1,500 - 2,000.  Probably worth $ 2,000 - 3,000 max.  Again, the addition of the Buyer's Premium, VAT and shipping makes this OK at the low end, but expensive at the high end of the estimate.



Well, those are my thoughts.  Understand these are merely my opinions based on my involvement in this hobby since 2006 and studying these items at length.  I am generally pretty accurate as to my valuations, which I base on past market results and a general understanding on the state of the market.  I think the Star Trek market is not particularly strong.  Certainly don't buy any of these for an investment.  Buy only what you love and then pay only what you can afford.

Alec


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