Roy Rogers Museum Items to Hit the Trail at Christie’s Auction
A collection of items from the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum will be sold in an auction on July 14-15, 2010, facilitated by Christie’s, association with High Noon Western Americana.
NEW YORK – After more than four decades of celebrating one of the most popular cowboys and cowgirls the world has ever known, the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum closed their doors last fall. Now, it’s time to parcel out the collection of more than 300 iconic lots, including from suits by Nudie the Rodeo Tailor, saddles, personal photos, awards, and arguably, the most famous horse of all time, Trigger.
The auction with no reserve will be held on July 14-15 and facilitated by Christie’s, association with High Noon Western Americana.
“The King of the Cowboys,” Roy Rogers (born Leonard Franklin Slye) is an enduring icon of American culture. A two-time inductee into Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, Roy Rogers—along with western vocal group The Sons of the Pioneers—had a syndicated radio show, and recorded 32 songs for Decca Records before going on to appear in more than 100 films and star in the television hit “The Roy Rogers Show.” Dale Evans, known as the “Queen of the West,” married Roy Rogers in 1947 and starred alongside her husband in “The Roy Rogers Show” from 1951 to 1957. In addition to her successful TV shows, more than 30 films and some 200 songs, Evans wrote the well-known Rogers theme song, “Happy Trails.”
On December 12, 2009, The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum closed its doors after more than four decades. Embraced by fans all over the world, the museum was deeply personal and displayed family photos dating back to Roy and Dale’s childhood. It also included colorful costumes, parade saddles, memorabilia from the silver screen and television, artifacts from Roy’s real-life safari adventures, tributes to his friends and sidekicks, pictures from the early days of The Sons of the Pioneers, and an assortment of artifacts meaningful to Roy and Dale. Among the most popular exhibits were Roy’s trusty horse Trigger, his loyal dog Bullet, and Dale’s buckskin horse, Buttermilk, all previously displayed for fans in the Branson, Mo. museum.
While it may seem strange to some that some of these items would be put up for auction instead of in another museum, High Noon Western Americana, in conjunction with the Rogers family, did try to place Trigger, Buttermilk and Bullet with a national museum, so that they could be enjoyed by all fans. However, the recession has left most institutions struggling to maintain their staffs, let alone expand their permanent collections, and declined to take on the items.
Highlights from the sale will include:
TRIGGER (1934-1965): Entertaining the masses so thoroughly for more than two decades, Roy Rogers and Trigger were one of America’s most recognizable duos, becoming instant classics in people’s eyes, hearts and imaginations. Trigger also reached legendary status in his own right, and is undeniably one of the most memorable horses that ever lived. Estimate: $100,000-$200,000.
ROY’S BONNEVILLE: Beginning with a stock 1964 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible, Nudie removed all traces of the original interior material and carpeting, replacing it with exquisitely hand-tooled leather. Then came the application of hundreds of genuine collectible silver dollars, along with chrome-plated pistols, horseshoes, miniature horses and rifles. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000
Roy's First Boots
ROY’S FIRST BOOTS: A pair of bronzed eagle boots, laced tops and pulls, mounted. Estimate: $3,000-$4,000.
EDWARD H. BOHLIN: Saddle on Trigger Jr. Edward H. Bohlin’s “TAXIN” model black, floral carved silver and gold mounted parade saddle with three-dimensional gold rodeo scenes on the corners including bareback riders, bronc busters, bulldoggers, calf ropers and steerheads. Round figural horsehead conchos on the corners and around the perimeter. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000.
EARLY LIFE WITH DUSTY AND LINDA: A group of black and white photographs of Dusty and Linda with Roy and Dale, framed. Estimate: $400-$600
DALE’S ENSEMBLE: Comprising a silver, rhinestone buttoned shirt, a purple gabardine cropped single button vest and skirt with silver leather spurs and stars theme, embellished with rhinestones throughout, the skirt finished in leather fringe, unlabeled. Estimate: $500-$1,000.
For more information about this auction, visit the Christie’s Web site.
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