Archive for Sunday, July 11, 2010

Roy Rogers auction offers a Trigger and a Bullet

July 11, 2010


— The smell of horses and hay permeated the marble-floored galleries at Christie’s in Manhattan Friday as potential bidders previewed items including the preserved remains of movie cowboy Roy Rogers’ famous horse Trigger.

The auction house is selling items from the now-closed Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Mo., next Wednesday and Thursday.

Unlike the fine furniture, paintings and jewelry that Christie’s is famous for, the centerpiece of this auction is a stuffed and mounted horse rearing on its hind legs. It also will feature another type of horsepower — Rogers’ 1964 Bonneville convertible adorned with collectible silver dollars, its door handles and gear shift replaced by silver-plated pistols.

The car is estimated to draw $100,000 to $150,000. Trigger is expected to fetch $100,000 to $200,000.

Other items for sale include: Rogers’ and Evans’ performance outfits; the preserved remains of Rogers’ dog, Bullet; about 60 pairs of cowboy boots; the Rogers family dining table; and the Jeep “Nellybelle” from the Roy Rogers TV show.

Michel Bettigole, 70, a prospective buyer who attended the preview, called Rogers one of his heroes and said he grew up watching him chase down bandits on the big screen.

“But there was never any violence,” he said. “He always shot the gun out of the bad guy’s hand. It was good morals.”

Hundreds of items will be offered for sale, many of them with estimated prices in the low hundreds. Hand-drawn music for the theme song “Happy Trails” has a pre-sale estimate of $300 to $500. So does a grouping of two Rogers’ guitars.

Bettigole was skeptical about some of the estimates.

“A Roy Rogers watch that Roy Rogers wore for $400? Forget about it!” he said.

Cathy Elkies, Christie’s director of iconic collections, said the estimates are based on the intrinsic values of the items, but prices could go much higher.

“What someone wants to pay for something Roy Rogers had, that’s the wild card,” she said.

Christie’s has been overwhelmed with calls from everyone from museum representatives to Roy Rogers fans who wanted a piece of the King of the Cowboys, said Linda Kohn-Sherwood, who is helping oversee the sale. Part of Rogers’ appeal was his charitable image outside the studio. He and Evans adopted several children and started a foundation for children in need.

“They were the Brad and Angelina of the time,” Kohn-Sherwood said.

Near the entrance at Christie’s Friday, doorman Gil Perez, 58, got to be the famous cowboy for a day. Perez wore one of Rogers’ red, embroidered performance shirts and toted a Roy Rogers guitar as he welcomed visitors to the gallery. He said he got his lucky break because he was about the same size as Rogers.

“I’m so honored, because I grew up watching him,” he said. “But there’s no way I’m trying to imitate him, because there’s only one Roy.”


number3of5 7 years, 11 months ago

To compare Roy Rogers andf Dale Evans to Brad and Angelina is degrading. They were good people, while Brad and Angelina are FAME seekers.

jade621 7 years, 11 months ago

You know when I was growing up (I'm 56), Roy was my idol. Saturday mornings at 7:30, I was up with a bowl of cereal in front of the TV never missing an episode or the reruns. He was a good guy. Too bad we don't have more of those types of programs and true idols we can learn from today. So much violence, sex , crime, etc. on TV and movies. I feel it is one of the reasons this world has the troubles it faces today; kids not being kids, growing up with the bad influences of TV, movies, computers, etc. We would get up get dressed and play outside in safe neighborhoods with friends all day, and use our minds, not just sitting on our butts in front of a computer or TV and vegg all day. Also why we have such obesity problems.

jag5713 7 years, 11 months ago

Roy And Dale would be turning over in there graves to see the treasures they treasured to be on the auction block. when the museum was in Victorville California, everything was on display for the public to see and admire. but as the day that dale evans died. the museum suddenly closed and everything was being moved to branson mo. to be taken from the public that loved Roy and Dale. from where Roy and Dale lived there whole lives. it just shows how kids can only see the money they can get. instead of preserving the memories of American Heros, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Trigger and Bullet. it is saying that the kids have run out of all the money and now sell off the treasures.

realistfor1 7 years, 11 months ago

a horse is a horse or corpse of course and no one can talk to a horse or corpse that is of course unless the corpse is the famous Mr Trigger

Sue Bird Hucke 7 years, 11 months ago

Roy & Dale were no Brad and Anglina. They were married. Roy was my hero as a little girl. I always watched his movies and tv shows. It's so sad to think this era has come to an end, but I knew it was inevitable when my generation was gone, no one else knew who they were.

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