Here's the two items I'm talking about:
|"Scotty" tunic – PIH photo|
|"Sulu" uniform – PIH photo|
At first glance, these look like cool pieces of the original series that were actually worn by two well-known characters. That's why you should NEVER accept a Profiles description at first glance. To begin with, we're not given any shots of the construction of these shirts so that we can indeed confirm that these are true Original Series (TOS) tunics. But let's assume for the sake of argument that they are genuine TOS pieces. Let's move on to the evidence that these are actually pieces worn by "Scotty" and "Sulu".
The auction states: "No interior label is present (typical for tunics from the series), though the subtle marks in the velour indicate single-row with “dashes” (lieutenant commander rank) braid that was applied to each sleeve making this a “Scotty” (the Chief Engineer was the only crewmember aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise who wore this rank in the red operations division)."
Now, technically, the description is correct – Scotty WAS the only lieutenant commander in red aboard the Enterprise. But that doesn't mean that other actors never wore this same type of shirt.
|Stunt double Scotty takes a tumble|
|Court Martial Lieutenant Commander|
Aside from stunt use, background players wore a lieutenant commander red shirt as well. In "Court Martial", when Kirk enters the Starbase bar, numerous background players are milling about, including one gentleman wearing the style in question.
I think there's little doubt that James Doohan would have been the wearer of this style the vast majority of the time. After all, as the auctions correctly states, Scotty was apparently the only officer on board the Enterprise who wore red and had the LC rank. But he was by no means the ONLY actor to ever wear this style of shirt as the auction also states. So I think the best that can be said about this piece (without a screen-match which is very difficult and unlikely) is that it is possibly a Scotty. But possibility is not certainty. And Profiles is asking buyers to spend a minimum of $18,000 ($15,000 plus 20% buyer's premium) with no guarantee of certainty.
Then there's the Sulu piece. Unlike the Scotty, this piece includes pants, and while I would need to examine them in person to know for sure about their authenticity, all the information that PIH gives is accurate to a real pair, including the way the name was put on.
But the shirt is another matter altogether. Like the Scotty, the tunic has no name inside: "The interior bias label is blank (typical for tunics from the series), though the slight size and subtle marks in the velour indicate single-row (lieutenant rank) braid was applied to each sleeve making this a “Sulu”."
So this is determined to be a "Sulu" because of the rank bands it once had as well is its "slight size". Even more so than the Scotty, this claim is ludicrous. It means that in the three years of the show's run, no other actor ever wore the single Lieutenant's braid on a gold shirt that was similar in size to actor George Takei.
Here's the problem with that claim: since the character of Chekov wasn't added until Season Two, every week there was a new Lieutenant sitting next to Sulu – and sometimes even in place of Sulu! Then there's the dozens of background players that walk the halls or are seated in the mess during crowd scenes. Gold Lieutenants are everywhere! Take a look at this image, especially the first guy who is standing right next to Sulu. Their shirts look to be of a very similar size. And this is just a fraction of all the various appearances of Gold Lieutenants.
|Gold Lieutenants abound!|
While I can't say for certain that these are genuine TOS shirts without an inspection, they seem to be genuine based on the photos. But specifically attributing these to Doohan and Takei is a real stretch, especially with the "Sulu". Without some type of specific provenance PROVING these were worn by those actors is just a guess. Or a hope.
I don't spend $18,000 on hope. If Profiles could show a screen-match of these two pieces, only then would I recognize their claim. Without a screen match, I think these are worth a fraction of their starting price, given that their histories are, for all intents and purposes, unknowable.
Maybe one of these days I'm going to open a Profiles In History catalog and I'll be shocked because they will not make unproven claims about Star Trek stuff. Unfortunately, this isn't that catalog.