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'Star Trek' tricorder prop, estimated at $50,000-$75,000 at Weiss.

Hero props from ‘Star Trek’ and vintage racing posters highlight Weiss’ May 21 sale

LYNBROOK, NY — Two original and highly desirable screen-used props from the 1960s Star Trek TV series and two original 1930s European racing posters provide top-dollar energy and estimates at Weiss Auctions Tuesday, May 21. The Historical and Entertainment catalog is now open for review and bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

After NBC cancelled Star Trek in 1969, production at Desilu ceased with the final episode shot. Creator and executive producer Gene Roddenberry had remained on the credits but had largely checked out during the third season. He did manage to salvage some of the more interesting props from the production, one of which — the handheld Type 1 phaser — was given by his widow Majel Barrett to the consignor at some time in the past. Considered what is commonly called a ‘hero’ prop — detailed enough for close-ups on camera — it carries an estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

A screen-used tricorder — a form of mobile computer and scanning analyzer — is a fiercely coveted prop, as so few were made in contrast to, say, phasers. Fashioned from aluminum and black fiberglass, the hero prop would have been seen onscreen being used by characters McCoy, Spock, Mr. Chekhov, or even Lt. Uhuru. Though the lot notes say it ‘comes with a letter from Planet Hollywood’, it apparently was ‘liberated’ from the Desilu set by a frequent background character actor, suggesting it may have been one of the red-shirted security personnel who appeared in dozens of episodes and had few if any spoken lines. The prop is estimated at $50,000-$75,000.

From 1960s science fiction to 1930s real-world auto racing, the sale includes two remarkable posters advertising European road races. Juan Manuel Fangio (1911-1995) is arguably the best racing driver in the history of motorsports, winning the world championship five times and dominating the early years of Formula One.

He happened to win the 1954 Grand Prix Bern in Switzerland, and at some point after that race signed this all-original poster from the event. Sadly, it was to be the final motorsports event in Swiss history, as the government banned all racing after a 1955 accident at Le Mans in France killed 83 spectators. The poster is estimated at $6,000-$9,000.

Georges Hamel (1900-1972), better known by his pen name Geo Ham, created this beautiful artwork for the 1937 International Auto Show in Paris. Measuring 45 by 61in, this stunning linen-backed poster is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.