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.

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

Roy's Bonneville

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

ROY’S FIRST BOOTS: A pair of bronzed eagle boots, laced tops and pulls, mounted. Estimate: $3,000-$4,000.

Bohlin Saddle

Bohlin Saddle

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 Photo

Early Photo

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

Dale's Ensemble

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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  • Regina

    To the day Roy Rogers died, I always thought I would visit his museum. While looking at all the great items related to my childhood watching him, he would walk out & I would meet the man that I loved. It has been a long standing joke by my sons & husband that Roy Rogers was my ‘heart-throb’. Seeing all these things, especially Trigger, Buttermilk and Bullet, on the auction block breaks my heart. If I were rich, I would donate them & cost to care for them. It would be the least I could do for my ‘love’ from childhood & the warm memories, lessons & music.

    • Patty

      If you”re feeling this bad, just think about how badly the Rogers family feels right now. They are going through something that they wished they could have stopped. For the last two years, they have been trying to keep the museum going. In Victorville, California , it was becoming a ghost museum. No one was going. Dusty tried to get a bigger area to put, I heard from a friend about this, Rodeo and try to get business, but the city was worried about issues, and he had to move it to Branson. He worked very hard to keep it going. It was really a beautiful site. But two years of slow turn outs caused him to listen to what Roy said to him , about not making it a burden on the family and go on with life. God Bless that family for trying so hard. And God bless Roy for leaving that message to his family, making it a little better for the family to do this. Patty

  • I had the great fortune to meet my “hero”, Roy Rogers at his museum in Victorville, CA. It was in 1994. I had toured the museum and was filled with amazement at all the artifacts that had been saved over the years. I was in the gift shop when he suddenly appeared. I was giddy, like a little kid to see the man in person. He paused and took a picture with me. I am heartborken that all of this has come to a final end. I would hope that all the fans, who like me, would wish the family our love and prayers. This must be more difficult for them as they grew up with all this in their lives. It is all a very special and lovely memory for me and I am past 70 years.

  • Diane J. Leydecker

    My Grandfather, Ib C. Nyby, carved a replica of Trigger rearing up on his rear legs for Roy Rogers. It is about 18 inches high and is from one solid piece of hardwood. His name and date are carved in the base. If this Item is available I would be highly interested in obtaining it. I would appreciate a reply.

    Thank You, Sincerely, Diane

  • Hal Doy Sampson

    I have always been a Roy Rogers fan. My Mother read me ‘Roy Rogers comic books” before I could read and I would memorize what they said. Today I have a great collection of Roy memorabilia, along with all his movies on vhs, DVD and 16 mm film. Before I retired from teching and coaching, I used to show the 16mm films to my students. I think they got a lot of values from them.
    I believe one of the things that Roy taught all of us is “not to be greedy”, and that money is a necessay evil. It seems like this sale is all about money. And I am sure Roy Would not like that. It is ashame that his belongings have to be sold. If I could afford to buy them I would buy them and make a national museum with them so the kids of today could learn about Roy and Dale and what they stood for. I hope there is some oil barron out there that still believes in America and the American way like Roy taught us. And I hope that oil barron buys the Roy Rogers “history” and does something constructive with it for America. America needs Roy Rogers. ROY ROGERS IS AMERICA!
    Happy Canters, Hal Doy Sampson

  • Julie Mckinley

    We got our first TV in 1955. The one and only punishment for misbehavior that ever had an effect on my remarkably strong will was to be banished to another room while Roy Rogers was on. My mother turned the volume high enough so I could hear the tune to “Happy Trails” but then turned it down so I couldn’t hear the show. Wow, did I act better for the next week…. God bless Roy and Dale.

  • My wife has an original “Dale Evans” Childs cowgirl hat,its a pressed signiture into the inside silk liner,It still has the pull string to adjust hat around your chin. Does anyone have any idea of whay this hat is worth? Thanks For Your Time! “Happy Trails to You”

  • Regina

    I am so glad Dusty listened to the message his Dad gave him. That is a really heroic thing to do & I don’t know if I would have the courage & will power to take that advice. I don’t hold any unkindness to the family. I am sure they did their best to place the items in a good place. I do keep them in my prayers. After all, we see the items going to sale & grieve, how would we feel if it also were our close relatives that were also going? I read an article about Roy & his feelings for his pets. I related completely. I have loved my dogs with all my heart, losing them is still a sad memory. My prayers go with the family. peace to all

  • JaniceD

    My husband and I were lucky enought to visit the museum in Victorville – got there when they opened up and Roy walked in as we were paying our admission. We had a Life Magazine with Roy and Trigger on the cover which Roy autographed and then he met up with us later and showed us the new area that was being built for the Sons of The Pioneers. Our oldest daughter was there and we all got our pictures with him. What a life-time memory!! Regretably, we never made it down to the Branson museum – as others hope, we sincerely hope someone buys this collection (or part of it) and puts it in a museum in Roy and Dale’s honor. What a loss of our American history. They were true Americans.
    God Bless the Rogers family…

  • Landon

    The icons of past eras will eventually fade into memory and history.

    A museum like this could not go on forever. It’s always a bit sad to say goodbye to the past in this fashion, but it’s inevitable. In the year 2010, a Roy Rogers museum was a hard sell… Lets all tip our hats to the run it had and be thankful for it.

  • RonB

    All I can muster to say is “Thanks for the Memories” and “Happy Trails to you”.

  • Donna Beck

    I had the Honor of meeting Roy while the Museum was still in Victorville and was lucky enough to have my photo taken with him. 6 months later I heard he had passed away. I’ll always treasure the memory of meeting him and how cool he was to take the time for his fans ! There’ll Never Be Anyone Like Him Again !

  • Donna Beck

    I Had the onor of meeting Roy while his Museum was still in Vicorville. 6 months later he passed away. I’ll always treasure the memory of meeting Roy and remember how COOL he was to us fans that day. Long Live The KING OF THE COWBOYS !! There’ll Never Be another one like him !!!
    I’ll Always treasure the photo I got taken with him too !

  • I’m 42 years old, but I remember like yesterday visiting the museum when we lived in Victorville. Two museums I always recommend as a must see was Roy Rogers was in Victorville and LBJ Library & Museum in Austin Texas. I can remember the silver dollars from both places. They just do make like they use to.

    God bless the Roger’s Family…
    John Bivins

  • hi all you roy fans it is sad to know about the museum
    but i think i have some items you might love to know about he wasnt far from my town and we have a museum here where there is some old photos and some other items like old lunch boxes with his picture water ther mouse bottles if you want to know more call me at 1740 255 5749 or 888 824 6294 or e mail me at chana1940@`

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