Austin video game developer Richard Garriott de Cayeux is a collector. In addition to memorabilia related to his storied career in interactive entertainment, Garriott is well known for keeping historical curiosities close at hand, from space travel-related memorabilia to automatons, much of it related to the history of technology.
Now anyone can own a little piece of Garriott's personal collection: an Austin Auction Gallery auction taking place on Saturday will make available dozens of pieces from Garriott's home, Brittania Manor. A public preview of the auction pieces takes place Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m. before the 10 a.m. auction begins.
While there are Model Ts and a full-sized Wells Fargo stage coach in the auction, fans of Garriott may be most interested in orreries -- mechical solar system models --, a three-foot-tall model rocket ship built for Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky or several working automatons, including a "Swami" fortune teller machine and "Nottingham," a Robin Hood-themed presentation.
There's also film memorabilia, an organ grinder and a planetarium projector.
Garriott's not ridding himself of all his material possessions; he still has a vast collection in Austin and in New York City, the two cities where he splits his time. Garriott explains that since he got married to his wife, Laetitia, and had a child, he's streamlining his collection and letting go of pieces he simply doesn't have room for anymore.
All the pieces have personal significance, he said.
"None of those pieces are things that I was ready to discard," Garriott said. "For me as a collector, it's not age, it's not rarity, it's not value. For me as a collector, it's inspiration value. Every one of the pieces that I've collected because it represented either a scientific breakthrough or allowed you to tell the story of a certain point of creative process or invention."
Those interested can show up on Saturday or bid by phone or online.
News on Open Source is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of 512tech.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe.