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Christie's underestimates Trekkies, pulls $7.1 million

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Trekkies set their phasers to bid this week, doling out about $7.1 million during a three-day auction of "Star Trek" memorabilia at Rockefeller Center, Christie's auction house said Saturday.

Christie's estimated the auction would bring in about $3 million, but the auction house apparently underestimated the Star Trek faithful.

For instance, Christie's estimated that a replica of the Starship Enterprise used in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" would command between $25,000 and $35,000.

The actual haul? $576,000.

The special-effects model sold to an anonymous American private collector, said Christie's spokesman Rick Pike. (Check out some of the booty)

Other items warping Christie's estimates were a 2-foot Borg cube model and a captain's chair from the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

The Borg model, which had intricate black latticework, was expected to sell for $1,500 at most, but one bidder decided it was worth $96,000. The captain's chair, which belonged to the show's Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, was expected to bring in $9,000, less than a fifth of its actual price: $52,000.

The auction kicked off Thursday, a month after the 40-year anniversary of the television debut of "Star Trek." Christie's hailed it as the "first-ever official auction of 'Star Trek' studio items."

Bids were accepted from the floor, by telephone and over the Internet.

The memorabilia was divided into 1,000 lots, which included costumes, props, weapons, set dressings and spacecraft models from all the "Star Trek" movies and television series.

CBS Paramount Television Studios released the items from its archives, Christie's said in a news release.

Other highlights of the auction included: A replica of the Starship Enterprise bridge from the original television series; a Romulan Warbird ship used in several episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"; a uniform worn by Capt. James Kirk in the movie "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan"; and an officer's uniform worn by Mr. Spock in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture."

Cathie Elkies, director of special collections for Christie's, said in a written statement that the auction would mark a rare chance for Trekkies to obtain some of these items.

"Never has a collection of this scope and depth come to the auction market, nor will it ever again," she said.

CNN's Brian Vitagliano and Mythili Rao contributed to this report.

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