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

Star Trek 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.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Profiles "Hollywood Auction" # 49 Preview

The OTHER Star Trek auction this week is the regular Profiles in History Hollywood Auction # 49.  There isn't a lot of Star Trek compared the the Drier Collection.  In fact there are only 12 items, and 4 of them are paperwork.

But after yesterday's Drier Auction (results here), most of us who aren't millionaire's are tapped out.  But frankly, the two big pieces here are not for your average collector!

First and foremost is the most important Captain Kirk costume ever to come to market.  An early first season, William Shatner, gold velour Captain's tunic.  I actually discovered this costume as you probably know, and myself and 3 TOS costume experts, James Cawley, Gerald Gurian and Rger Romage, all helped authenticate it.  It has been screen matched to both "This Side of Paradise" and "Shore Leave", and there is a 25 page authentication report that accompanies it.  You can see it in iCollector here.

It has an estimate of $ 80-100,000.  Where will it go?  $ 125,000 for sure.  That is my guess and what I valued this at based on previous auctions.  Most importantly, a Spock that went for $ 130,000 and another that recently went for $ 100,000 (thought that was with pants). 

The significance of this piece cannot be understated.  it is the oldest Kirk tunic that has come to market and it is also in the best condition of any velour of Kirk's.

Here is a review of the other 11 items:

The four pieces of Star Trek paperwork certainly came out of a collection because of the ridiculous prices some paperwork received at the last  Profiles auction, which I wrote about here

Lot 903-905 are just letters from Gene Roddenberry and not particularly interesting.  Lot # 906 is a set of three TOS scripts, one of which appears to be Gene Roddenberry's personal script, but it is hard to tell.  None the less, the lot of TOS scripts is an interesting piece of Star Trek history.  I don't collect scripts so I will pass, but some do and you should look at this lot.

 Lot 907 - USS Enterprise Decals from The Original Series.

VERY COOL!   You got to love these.  I can't believe something so important yet so fragile is still around, and I think it very cool.  I will not be surprised to see this go over $ 10,000.  I wish we had photos of all 4 sheets!

(4) SHEETS OF (250+) VINTAGE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE NCC-1701 DECALS FOR FILMING MODELS FROM STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES. - (NBC-TV, 1966-69) Four vintage wet transfer-type decal sheets specifically designed for use as replacements on the Star Trek: The Original Series 11-foot and 3-foot filming miniatures of the U.S.S. Enterprise on the Howard Anderson visual effects stage on the Desilu Studios lot between 1966-69. 

This item is really exciting, though not something I would have in my collection with so little money to spread around!

Lot 908 "Nona" Necklace from "A Private Little War".  I have seen the top from this costume in someone's collection, so I hope they get this necklace to go with it.  Otherwise, pretty uninteresting.

Lot 910, a First Contact EVA Phaser Rifle.  We just saw one yesterday that went for $ 3,250, so this one should go for less.  If you are a Phaser Rifle completest like me, you need one of these.
Lot 911 Boomerang Phaser - TOTALLY wrong description.   
"This boomerang style phaser is worn by Kate Mulgrew “Captain Janeway” in the Voyager episode, “Endgame”, and is only used in this episode. This style phaser is the basis for the phasers used in Nemesis"
The phaser they are talking about is a Dolphin Phaser and this is not this one.  UGH. 

Lot 912 is the Khan Wrist Communicator and Chest Strap

Very cool and would be perfect for that Khan costume that The Prop Store sold last summer.  Whoever bought that costume needs this! (I am like a prop and costume matchmaker).  I haven't screen matched this so can't venture to guess to its authenticity.

Lot 913 Mark IX Hero Medical Tricorder

There have been so many Tricorders and the one in the Drier Auction went at a pretty reasonable price.  This is a medical Tricorder and I assume authenticated with Michael Moore from HMS who is THE authority on these since he designed and made them.   

Finally, the other great item is a piece of the original TOS Enterprise bridge.  But not just any item, but the translight of the Enterprise.

Lot 914 Screen Used USS Enterprise Bridge Panel

This panel originally sold in the first Propworx Star Trek auction in 2010 for $ 14,000.  So it will be interesting to see what it goes for here. 

Here is the Profiles description:

ORIGINAL SCREEN-USED U.S.S. ENTERPRISE BRIDGE PANEL FROM STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - (NBC-TV, 1966-1969) Original 12 in. x 10 in. monitor graphic from Star Trek: The Original Series. This screen was created for and used on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the first pilot episode all the way through to the end of the third season. The monitor graphic was situated directly to the left of the main helm console on the outer ring of stations. Once the series ended, the set was dismantled and donated by Desilu to the UCLA Drama Department. When UCLA decided to abandon the set in 1970, Mike Jittlov (of The Wizard of Speed and Time) rescued this treasured set piece. The graphic panel consists of overlaid multi-colored gels sandwiched between glass panes. Black gaffing tape on edges holds the panes together. The panel served as the light emit- ting graphic screen atop a light box. A paper label is affixed to lower left, which reads (in full): “Original Enterprise Screen from the Star Trek Bridge Set Liberated by Mike Jittlov as the set was being demolished at UCLA in 1970”.

My guess is this goes for over $ 20,000.  So many lesser props have gone for crazy money and this is a very significant piece of Star Trek history.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Profiles "Dreier Collection" Auction Preview

This weekend, Profiles in History will hold the auction for The Dreier Collection.  The Dreiers are of of the premier Hollywood movie memorabilia collectors in the country, and after years putting together an amazing collection, they have decided to sell the entire collection.  

Now their collection has a lot of good Star Trek items from TMP on. The breadth of the collection is good.  Lots of key costumes, almost every type of Phaser weapon, tricorders.  It is a good representation.  So there is something for everyone I think.

The Dreier Collection auction happens Saturday July 28th at 11:00am and you can download the catalog here.  The auction is held on iCollector and  you can register and bid here.

And, as I always say about Profiles in History, what is the provenance?  If you are interested in any of these items, you call Brian or Fong at Profiles up (both awesome, friendly guys) and you ask them for details. 

Lot # 188 Borg Costume   

This is a beauty and should hit $ 10,000 easy I think.  What is special is the mannequin and the makeup to make the costume complete.  It appears to be an IAW item, but again, if you want to spend the big $, you better call Profiles and check on the provenance.

Lot # 195 Picard Jumpsuit

An opening bid of $ 6,000, this costume is headed over $ 10,000.  It is the best known Picard costume I think, and more desirable than the later, two piece costume.  I would trade my Picard "Generations" Veridian III costume for this AND pay $ 5,000 in a heartbeat just to have this version.  My guess is this will be hotly contested.

Lot # 197 Picard Tunic

You know I think of these costumes as one piece that comes apart (yeah, makes no sense, but that is how my brain works!).  So the tunic without the pants just doesn't work for me. That being said, I think this is maybe a $ 5,000 item.

Lot # 201 "Worf" Bat'Leth

I assume there is no provenance stating this was used by Worf, so the fact it is metal would be what leads one to assume it was used by Worf.  But if you are serious, you should call Profiles.

Lot # 220  Enterprise "E" Captain's Chair

Acquired at the Christie's Star Trek Auction where it sold for $ 62,400 (including BP), this chair will get maybe half that.  It isn't iconic like a TV chair and the excitement of Christie's has worn off. 

I strongly urge you to download the catalog.  Besides that there is so much good stuff you should check everything out.  The whole Dreier catalog is pretty awesome.

And tomorrow I will publish a preview of the regular Hollywood auction Profiles is holding the same weekend.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Galileo Shuttlecraft: Our First Inspection

As most of you know, Adam Schneider and I won the Galileo Shuttlecraft at Auction in June.  This is the full sizeset piece used in "The Galileo Seven" and other episodes.  It is in very bad shape and we are heading out to Akron, Ohio to take possesion and get the process rolling.  You can follow our progress tomorrow on my Twitter.  Follow @alecpeters for live updates from the site and lots of photos.

And on the web follow the ongoing story here:

And on Facebook:

Make sure to follow me on Twitter as I will be Tweeting the entire day tomorrow with lots of good photos!  @alecpeters


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The TOS Shatner Kirk Tunic Part IV - "Shore Leave"

After James Cawley spent time screen matching the Shatner Kirk tunic, Gerlad Gurian went at the screencaps to try and match the braid.  And of course, Gerald, being rather meticulous, did just that. 

It is amazing the number of "experts" on Internet forums who have no clue what they are talking about.  I am not an expert on TOS costumes, although after the education that James, Gerald and ROger gave me, I certainly know more than most.  Still I defer to these guys who have put in the work over years and years.  And screencaps don't lie.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

The TOS Shatner Kirk Tunic Part III - "Shore Leave"

The Kirk tunic I owned was clearly an early first season velour Shatner Kirk tunic.  The rib-knit collar with drawstring was a dead give-away.  And while Gerald Gurian and I had previously positively matched the Kirk Tunic in Profiles in History with "This Side of Paradise", James Cawley was convinced it was also the tunic in " Shore Leave".

So James dove into the HD screencaps on Trekcore and when I was on the phone with James Cawley yesterday and he said he had spent two hours screen matching the Kirk Tunic to "Shore Leave" and was convinced that the Kirk tunic was in fact used on the planet side scenes in that episode.  We spent 30 minutes reviewing specific screencaps and I was convinced.  Three things were tells:

1)  The collar at the point had a small indent on the left.

2)  The patch was sewn on in a distinct way.

3)  The collar where the zipper closure hits the black collar was the same.
So here are the details:

 Kirk's tunic on the Enterprise.  Note the fabric around the point:

Kirk's tunic on the planet.  Note fabric indent on left side of point (looking at it)

Kirk tunic has same indent:

2)  Patch Right Side "point"

The patch is sewn on with the right side (looking at it) point pointed outwards, not down as usual.

 Note point on patch points down on Kirk's distressed, post-Finnegan fight, tunic:

Here are two previous Shatner Kirk tunics at auction, the first was Profiles in 2003 and the other is from Butterfield's.  Note the patch points are pointing downwards

3)  The collar where the zipper closure hits the black collar looks the same.  Now this is the hardest to verify and probably the weakest argument.  It is hard to tell, but with everything else we know, it reinforces that this is the same tunic.

Thanks to James for his hard work here.  His attention to detail and understanding of tailoring and costume design is a huge asset to this process.   James has given us a lot of insight into HOW these tunics were made.

What this also did is get Gerald going and tomorrow I will post the screencaps of Gerald's "Shore Leave" braid match.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The TOS Shatner Kirk Tunic Part II

The Shatner Kirk Tunic is perfectly screen matched to Kirk's hand in the above screen cap from "This Side of Paradise".  Questions have been raised if that is Shatner's hand or that of a stand in or stunt double.  So two issues:

1)  Was Shatner's Hand used in Close Ups?

2)  Can we screen match Shatner's hand in the above photo?

First we will deal with # 1, was Shatner's hand used in close ups?
Multiple times we see Kirk's hand in a close up and then we see the reveal that it is Shatner's hand in fact in the wide shot.  Here are a couple examples proving that Kirk's hand was used in close ups:

From "Tomorrow is Yesterday"

The close up:
 Kirk's hand in close-up

The subsequent wide shot:

 Hand is revealed to be Shatner's

Here is the same type of example from "This side of Paradise", the episode with the transporter screencap positively identifying the tunic.

The close up:
 Kirk's hand in close-up

 The subsequent wide shot:

  Hand is revealed to be Shatner's

So we see that Shatner's hand is used in close-ups.  They don't generally bring in a stunt or photo double. 

Point # 2  Can we screen match Shatner's Hand in the photo authenticating the Tunic?


Proof Positive that this is Shatner's hand in the first photo.


The screen match of the braid in this photo from "This Side of Paradise" is 100%.  And now we know for sure that is Shatner's hand.

So we know for sure that the Kirk tunic at Profiles in History is in fact a Shatner Kirk Tunic and probably the earliest ever to come to market.

Also, James Cawley says that he believes he has screen matched the Kirk Tunic to "Shore Leave".  We will be posting his findings shortly.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The TOS Shatner Kirk Tunic at Profiles in History.

While some people know this, it is not public knowledge, but last year, I acquired a William Shatner Captain Kirk Tunic.  Yes, a holy grail to almost all of us Star Trek prop & costume collectors.  It was an amazing find and literally walked in the door of Propworx.  (OK, it had help walking in the door).

I traded that tunic to another collector, who is now selling it in Profiles in History.  Why?  Well, it really is an expensive item as we will see when it sells later this month.  And it is too expensive for a collector like me.  I am not rich and having such an expensive piece of history is just not practical.  You can't display it unless you build a very expensive display, and you have to insure it.  Also, while I love my collection, a Kirk Tunic, while a Holy Grail, isn't going to make me happy.  One week with Damaris' (my best friend) two little 6 year old boys brings more more happiness than any item in my collection.  And so it was ultimately impractical.  And what I got for the Tunic is worth much more to me than owning it would be. (More on that later!)

So I got three of the four top experts on TOS costumes to authenticate this costume.  James Cawley worked for Bill Theiss, Roger Romage has studied everything TOS since the 60's and knows the costumes better than anyone I see regularly post anywhere.  And Gerald Gurian has spent an enormous amount of time analyzing the multiple costumes he has had access to and does an amazing job with photo essays of TOS costumes.  

Each of these experts separately reviewed the tunic and all came to the same conclusion.  It is an early First Season William Shatner Kirk tunic.  

James Cawley's knowledge of  these tunic is first hand from handling so many of them  working for Bill Theiss.  James even owns the original patterns from Bill.  Many know James from his well known fan film "Star Trek: Phase II".  If you go to his set, James will spend hours talking Star Trek costuming, and his knowledge is impressive. 

Gerald and I had a rocky start to our relationship, but have since become best of friends.  Just goes to show you that when you share a passion, friendships blossom.  Gerald was the one who first noted that the Sulu Tunic we had in the first Propworx auction was not 3rd season, but Phase II.  Gerald does more work on authenticating items than anyone.  He will spend hours just getting the right screen match.  And he has handled and photographed lots of TOS costumes and done extensive photo analysis of them.  Check out his blog here.

So, how about some authentication of the Kirk tunic and the high res photos we took at Propworx before I traded this baby off.  I am reprinting much of Gerald's awesome article since I don't want to re-do all his hard work on my blog!
Here is Gerald's photo review (Part 1).

Gelrad Gurian was one of three experts who authenticated this tunic.  Here are his notes:

Concerning authenticity, there is considerable evidence to support the conclusion that this is not only an authentic TOS 1st season command tunic but also a rare William Shatner Captain Kirk costume.


The texture and construction of the velour fabric in this tunic; both on its front and reverse surfaces, is consistent with that used to create the 1st and 2nd season TOS starfleet uniforms. Below is a direct comparison with a 2nd season blue velour sciences dress (sold by Profiles in History, Auction 37, October 2009). In addition to the matching textures and thread weaves, note the slight "sparkle" effect visible on the front surface of the fabric that is frequently seen when these costumes are photographed at close range with a flash in use.

Below is another direct comparison of this tunics fabric with a different 1st season gold velour TOS command tunic, where matching texture is again observed.

Below is a composite image illustrating the distinct sparkle effect of the TOS velour fabric visible on a different Shatner tunic (a 2nd season Kirk tunic sold by Profiles In History in Auction 17, Dec. 2003) as well as on a Cage Science Officer tunic (sold by Profiles In History in Auction 47, Dec. 2011).


i. The black collar fabric used on this tunic is consistent with that found on other early TOS velour starfleet uniforms. Note the identical "ribbed" knit fabric construction visible in the comparison below with the 2nd season TOS sciences dress. (Third season TOS costumes featured a distinctly different "spring weave" collar fabric.)

ii. The width and contours of the collar on this tunic are also consistent with those tailored for use by William Shatner on his early first season tunics. Each of the lead actors on TOS had subtle differences in their early collar designs. Those worn by Shatner were low riding with a more rounded contour on the front, while the early Nimoy collar rose high to cover his oversize Adam's apple. The image below favorably compares the collar on this tunic with a Shatner screenshot from "Shore Leave".

Below are some photos that clearly demonstrate the differences between early Kirk and Spock collar designs.

3. Command Patch - this costume bears the smaller style command insignia patch seen in the first two seasons of TOS on the velour uniforms, composed of gold mylar material. Below is a direct comparison with a screen capture from "Who Mourns for Adonais":

Below is another favorable comparison with an authentic early TOS command patch that was attached to a Phase II fabric tunic for display in the Star Trek: The Exhibition touring collection. Note in particular the matching contours of the elongated topmost arm of the 5 point star on both patches; typically straight on the left side, with a curved bulge outwards on the lower right side, and not touching the top black border as is commonly seen in the larger 3rd season TOS patches. Here, the lower right arm of the star touches the border thread on both patches.

The overall dimensions of the patch on this tunic are a match with those published previously on this site for 1st and 2nd season TOS patches. Specifically, the following photo presents a view of all Original Series patch dimensions from the pilot episode onwards. The Cage patch size is clearly the smallest of all at 2.25" tall versus the approx. 2.75" high 1st/2nd season patch and approx. 3.25" tall 3rd season patch. The width of all patches is constant at approx. 2".

4. Patch attachment to tunic - the "zig zag" sewing pattern seen to attach the command patch to the fabric on this tunic is consistent with the pattern observed on other authentic TOS starfleet uniforms. Below is a direct comparison with a 3rd season command tunic.

5. BRAID (Materials & attachment): 

i. The braid present on this tunic is also consistent with the design, composition materials and appearance of the braid seen on the Captains tunics in the earliest 1st season episodes of TOS. In particular, the use of gold, dark brown, and tan thread to create the braid design on thin gold mylar, as observed on this tunic, can also be observed in the onscreen braid from "The Enemy Within" in the comparison photo below:

ii. Also to be noted above in both the photo of this tunic and the episode screenshot is the consistent sewing attachment technique which features the use of yellow thread that spans the gaps between adjacent pieces of rectangular braid in the middle row of Captain's braid.
6. Zipper hardware - this costume features a hidden zipper assembly with metal teeth bearing the brand name "UNIQUE" and the word "JAPAN" present on the metal slider, which is identical to the zipper hardware observed on all three seasons of screen used TOS starfleet tunics and dresses. Below is a direct comparison photo matching the zipper appearance on this tunic to that on several other screen used TOS costumes:

And the photo below from the 1st season episode "Miri" provides on screen confirmation of the use of zipper "tapes" (the side support fabric strips) bearing metal teeth on TOS starfleet tunics.


i. This tunic features a black cloth pull for the zipper that is not a frequently encountered feature on screen used TOS starfleet tunics. However, it has been observed on occasion in the past. The photo below shows the construction details on this costume, and confirms the presence of a similar cloth pull on a 3rd season Spock tunic (sold by Profiles In History, Auction 14, April 2003):

ii. Below are some screenshots of William Shatner in costume where it is evident that he is wearing a costume also outfitted with a black cloth pull:


This costume features a total of three hook and eye closures to secure the black neck collar. This large a number of closures is not typically seen on regular TOS tunics (frequently just a single closure; occasionally a pair of them); so it is possible that the presence of three might be some minor indicator of costumes that were created for a Kirk or a starring role character. The closures on this tunic are shown below along with a screenshot of William Shatner from the early 1st season episode "Mudd's Women" in which it is evident by the visible metal surfaces that his velour tunic has also been outfitted with three hook and eye closures:

9. Captain Kirk Braid screen match to 1st Season "This Side of Paradise".

As seen in the comparison photo below, the exact braid construction found on the right cuff of this tunic precisely matches that visible in the screen capture from the 1st season TOS episode "This Side of Paradise"; where a close up view of Kirk's hand operating the transporter controls is the focus of the screenshot. There are literally dozens and dozens of matching characteristics that may be discerned upon close examination of the images - including contours of the gold mylar all along the outside bands of braid, contours on the individual pieces of braid forming the middle band, relative spacing between pieces of braid and main features/contours on braid, prominent thread line locations and thread paths, areas of prominent colored thread and even some soiling / spotting on the velour fabric itself. By any reasonable analysis, this screen match alone with all of its successful points of comparison should be considered sufficient to confirm the use of this tunic on screen as a 1st season Captain Kirk.


This tunic features a double gusset design; or the presence of three seam lines running from the armpit area down the torso on each side of the costume - a design characteristic that is considered by knowledgeable Star Trek experts to be only present on those TOS command tunics specifically tailored for wear by William Shatner. The double gussets on this tunic, as well as two photos in which this unique construction detail is visible on William Shatner in costume, is shown below.

11. Evidence of significant costume use and manual repairs on the soundstage

As seen in the images below, this costume bears evidence of not only machine sewn construction but also hand sewn work. While the machined elements are reflective of the initial fabrication of the tunic, the hand sewn portions speak to the subsequent repairs and adjustments made "on the fly" - sometimes while the actor was still wearing the garment on the soundstage - and their presence is entirely consistent with screen used TOS costumes.

As a side note, as was the practice on the Desilu soundstage, when a "hero" tunic such as this became sufficiently distressed or well worn to merit its replacement, it would likely be relegated for use by stunt actors or redressed for background use. This practice was certainly known to take place during the production of TOS, where budgetary constraints were famously much more pressing than on later series in the franchise; though the practice of relegating well worn costumes from leading actors to stuntmen has also been confirmed on the most recent Trek series such as Star Trek: Enterprise. Behind the scenes books such as Justman and Solows "Inside Star Trek: The Real Story" and Roddenberry and Whitfields "The Making of Star Trek" famously recount the "dumpster-diving" exploits of Jefferies, Justman, Dwyer, Theiss et al to secure discarded styrofoam office equipment packing inserts for use to spray paint as TOS Engine Room brightly colored wall mounted devices, or cannibalize screen used Eminiar weapons for parts to produce new Klingon disruptors, or employ inexpensive orange shower curtain material to fabricate the biohazard suits seen in "The Naked Time". Thus it is quite likely that this costume was worn by another actor over the course of its useful life on the Desilu soundstage. But it would not be likely at all that a gusseted "hero" Captain Kirk tunic would be fabricated solely for stunt use and was not worn by William Shatner.

12. Overall size - The overall size of this tunic has been found to match that of a Shatner-worn Kirk costume from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. 

There is more info to come.  Stay tuned for the next post.