Star Trek Costumes, Props Sold Off 40 Years After Show's Debut

It looked like any other auction, until you noticed the guy with pointed Vulcan ears.

Christie's boldly went Thursday where no auction house has gone before, kicking off a three-day sale of Star Trek memorabilia from the archives of CBS Paramount Television Studios. From costumes and props to blueprints and furniture, the auction featured more than 1,000 lots.

The sale started with battles over some lots. A captain's chair once belonging to Jean-Luc Picard on the Starship Enterprise-E sold for a gavel price of $52,000 — far beyond the presale estimate of $9,000.

The chair itself is covered with burgundy-dyed imitation leather and features simulated control panels in the armrests — hardly high-end or high-tech. But the cheesiness factor didn't scare off devoted fans of the show, who filled the midtown Manhattan auction site.

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"This is historic from the standpoint of science fiction," said Gary Sekulow of Atlanta, who bought a pair of consoles from the fictional bridge of the Starfleet. He said the consoles are destined for his home theater.

The auction is one of several events commemorating the 40th anniversary of "Star Trek," which boasts some of the entertainment world's most dedicated fans.

But it wasn't the fans who were in costume this time — it was the auction house employees, including the pointy ears made famous by Leonard Nimoy in the original Star Trek television series.