The sale of a rare, screen-used television prop continued the upward trend in values of Star Trek props at an auction this weekend held in California and online. Auction house Prop Store offered nearly 400 props, costumes, set pieces, models, and other memorabilia from the collection of television prop private collector James Comisar. Many of the lots did not receive bids that met the reserve price set by the seller, but a key, rare, Klingon disruptor from the 1960s Star Trek series sold strong, at $40,000 plus buyer’s premium, for a total sale price of $48,800. One of the pieces that did not git a bidder to meet the reserve price was the tunic worn by William Shatner as Captain Kirk in one of television and pop culture’s most significant milestones, the first interracial kiss, between Shatner’s Kirk and Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura in the episode “Plato’s Stepchildren,” which aired 50 years ago. That tunic had a minimum reserve price set at $40,000, but only received $20,000 in bids.
Referred to in the series as “phaser” and “disruptor,” and used as a weapon by both Klingons and Romulans in the series, the Klingon disruptor hand prop that sold this weekend joins a small list of significant pieces sold at public auction, but it isn’t the highest price paid for a Star Trek hand prop. That was $231,000, for the 2013 sale of a phaser rifle famously held in marketing images by William Shatner as Captain Kirk for the original Star Trek series, produced specifically for the retooled pilot episode, but never used afterward in the series.
Other key sales past sales of Star Trek hand props include the 2011 sale of an original series Starfleet phaser for $78,000, and a 2001 sale of a Starfleet phaser from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where the winning bidder paid $57,500.
Find out more about the Klingon disruptor at this detailed look at the prop here.
A surprise for many was the winning bid in this weekend’s Prop Store auction for the sale of a model ship used in the classic 1960s television series My Favorite Martian, starring genre favorite actor Ray Walston. The large model sold for $80,000 plus buyer’s premium, or $97,600 total.