One of the largest auctions Christie's has ever produced got under way Thursday morning in New York. Four thousand items of Star Trek memorabilia are being sold to the highest bidder. For fans, it's like Bloomingdale's in outer space -- costumes, models, furniture, weapons and more, from all the shows and movies. The auction continues over three days, breaking apart a collection that some Trekkies says should stay together.
Five warehouses at CBS Paramount originally stored the memorabilia that is now available to the public. The items include weapons from alien species, 50 intricate models of spaceships, various Starship Enterprises, the Klingon Bird of Prey, the space station Deep Space Nine, and countless others. Many of these models are part of a dying art form as films turn to digital production.
The Enterprise D is Captain Picard's starship in the TV series Next Generation. You can also bid on his costume, his wooden flute and even two empty bottles labeled Chateau Picard, from the Vineyard that Picard's family owns in France -- that is, in the Next Gen world. The wardrobe room is filled with cases of jewelry, and military medals and racks of clothes.
"These are gorgeous, gorgeous pieces of clothing -- incredible pieces of art," says Cathy Elkies, Christie's director of special collections.
Wolf Jefferson, an independent filmmaker attending the auction, says the merchandise brings him closer to the show.
"I started touching everything -- this was Lieutenant Uhura's; this was Captain Kirk's. You get that feeling, when you are right next to something… It is like you are right there on the set," Jefferson says.