Welcome! As part of its ongoing mission to document the Art and Production History of Star Trek, this site will present technical articles on Star Trek prop and costume authentication - focusing on The Original Series - with detailed photos and episode screenshots to complement the information presented; as well as feature pictorials to showcase Star Trek memorabilia in private & public collections, present rare Behind The Scenes TOS imagery & discuss other topics.
Gerald Gurian is a 40+ year collector of screen used Star Trek memorabilia and a passionate fan of TOS
- Star Trek TOS At Auction Part I - Gurian Collection Highlights - Greg Jein TOS Hero Type II Phaser
-Authenticating a TOS Communicator -6 Myths About Star Trek Prop Design -Star Trek 3rd Season Command Tunic
- Design Features of TOS Tricorders -Star Trek Props At National Air & Space - TOS Leatherette Tricorder
- TOS Federation Sciences Dress -Desilu Studio TOS Prop Fabrication - Unreleased Allen/Gurian Prop Photos
- The Beautiful Women of TOS Part I -TOS U.S.S. Enterprise 11' Filming Model - Captain Kirk's Chair from TOS
- Spock Ears -TOS Control Panels & Displays - Mr. Spock's Science Station
- TOS Soundstage at Desilu -TOS Shatner Romulan Pants - The Beautiful Women of TOS Pt. II
- TOS Galileo Shuttlecraft -Greg Jein TOS Cage Laser Pistol - TOS 3rd Season Midgrade Type II Phaser
- Dr. McCoy's Sickbay on TOS -TOS Balok Puppet Head - Captain Kirk "Mirror, Mirror" Tunic
- Greg Jein TOS Hero Tricorder -1992 Smithsonian TOS Cast Video - TOS 1st Season Command Tunic
- TOS "Where No Man" Silver Contact Lenses -TOS Special Effects: The Transporter - The Art of Matt Jefferies
- TOS "Space Seed" Gold Mesh Jumpsuit -Gorn Costume from "Arena" - Rare TOS Behind-the-Scenes Videos
- TOS Stunt Type II Phaser -1993 Bill Theiss Estate Auction - TOS Shatner Command Dress Tunic
- TOS Elasian Royal Guard Tunic -TOS Finnegan Silver "Shore Leave" Tunic - TOS Science Officer Tunic "The Cage"
- TOS Shatner Early 1st Season Command Tunic -William Shatner TOS Tunics At Auction - TOS Shatner Late 1st Season Command Tunic

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Star Trek: The Original Series "Hero" Type II Pistol Phaser at Heritage Auctions July 16 - 18, 2021 Entertainment Memorabilia Auction

Presented below is the complete auction description and accompanying photos for an exceptionally rare TOS "Hero" Type II Pistol Phaser - a newly announced Star Trek: The Original Series major prop discovery and only the second known surviving TOS hero pistol phaser in existence - that shall be offered to the highest bidder in the upcoming Heritage Auctions July 16 - 18, 2021 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction #7241.  (In January of 2021, it was announced that Joseph Maddalena, founder & CEO of the prestigious auction house Profiles In History, would be joining Heritage Auctions as Senior Executive Vice-President, thus signalling the joining of Profiles operations with Heritage.)

As the auction description below indicates, this hero prop has been authenticated through direct comparison with what was for many decades the only known TOS hero Type II phaser in existence - in the collection of the renowned Star Trek TOS expert Greg Jein - and, indeed, several of the photos below show both historic phasers and their unassembled components displayed directly side-by-side. A detailed photostudy of the Greg Jein prop was presented on this site in an April, 2008 post and may be viewed at the following link:  http://www.startrekpropauthority.com/2008/04/rare-photos-of-greg-jein-tos-hero-type.html

The Auction Preview page for this lot may be directly viewed on the Heritage Auctions website at the following link, where users can also register to bid in the entire Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction:  https://entertainment.ha.com/itm/entertainment-and-music/star-trek-the-original-series-extremely-rare-hero-type-2-phaser-pistol-paramount-1966-1969-/p/7241-79001.s?ic4=GalleryView-ShortDescription-071515

The complete auction catalog description is as follows:

Star Trek: The Original Series Extremely Rare Hero Type-2 Phaser Pistol (Paramount, 1966-1969). The Type-2 Phaser Pistol is the most iconic and sought-after hand prop from the original Star Trek series. Designed by Star Trek art director Walter "Matt" Jefferies (designer of the Starship Enterprise), this was the first pragmatic/utilitarian energy weapon in science fiction, marking a stark design departure from the fantasy "ray guns" of Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and Forbidden Planet.

This hero Type-2 Phaser was built for close up camera shots and breaks down into three detachable components: 1) The palm-sized Type-1 Hand Phaser – used for diplomatic missions and undercover work due to its discreet size, 2) The Type-2 Pistol Phaser body into which the Type-1 would install to make a more powerful weapon, and 3) The elongated brass handle/power pack (attached by twist-lock) capable of being quickly swapped out and "reloaded" during prolonged engagements. This is one of only two hero Type-2 Phasers known to exist.

Crafted of fiberglass, resin, turned aluminum, brass, steel and acrylic components, the weapon measures 8 in. long x 6 in. tall and features moving parts. The Type-1 has a moving dial on top that raises the "targeting sight" when rotated, as well as extending the acrylic emitter at front. A panel below the Type-1 (attached with flathead screw) removes to reveal the internal metal mechanism and holder for a single AA battery to illuminate a grain of wheat light bulb when activated (bulb and battery are no longer present).

The Type-2 pistol body features a spring-loaded acrylic emitter that moves backward as the Type-1 separates from the Type-2 by depressing the brass side-mounted release button. The front turned aluminum nozzle rotates to "focus the beam" of the weapon, and a turning inset aluminum side dial is installed on the left. A rear-mounted, rotating aluminum "power level" dial is mounted at the top of the weapon with engraved numbers from "1" to "9" with 10 hash marks between each number (9.9 being the maximum setting).

The provenance of this piece is as incredible as the Phaser, itself. The Type-2 pistol body was acquired directly from Star Trek prop designer and builder Wah Ming Chang in the late 1960s (Chang designed and built the Starfleet Communicators and Tricorders for the original series).

The accompanying LOA states the studio had sent the Phaser pistol body to Chang for repair and the show was cancelled before he was able to return it. The Type-1 Hand Phaser was acquired by a member of the production crew after filming completed on a second season episode in 1967 (a second LOA accompanies the Type-1).

Eventually, the respective owners of the Type-1 and Type-2 Phasers learned about their counterpart, and in a detailed study the two hero components were reassembled and scrutinized in a side-by-side comparison with the only other known Hero Type-2 Phaser Pistol belonging to the highest-profile collector and top authority of original series props and costumes. The collector extensively examined the internal and external components and determined, based upon the comparison, that this Type-2 Phaser Pistol is authentic. In fact, the build tolerances between both pistols are such that the Type-1 Phasers are interchangeable and fit perfectly in both pistol bodies!

To many science fiction fans around the world, the original series Type-2 Phaser Pistol transcends its association with a groundbreaking science fiction television series – it represents one of the defining indelible images of American pop culture. Exhibits expected paint loss and scuffing, with missing partial strip of Velcro for attachment to costume.

In December 2018, Profiles in History sold a midgrade Type-2 Phaser Pistol (for medium distance shots), one of several known, for $192,000. This Hero Type-2 Phaser Pistol is the first to ever reach public auction. COA from Heritage Auctions.