Trigger to be Auctioned off at Sothebys

Sadly, the Roy Rogers Museum has closed its doors and all of the memorabilia is to be auctioned off.

The ranks of fans of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Hollywood’s “King of the Cowboys” and “Queen of the West,” have shrunk to the point that the couple’s museum in Branson, Mo., closed in December, after ticket sales no longer covered its $33,000 monthly rent.

“Toward the end, sometimes we had only 40 people a day,” said Roy Rogers Jr., the actor’s oldest son, who helped run the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum in a sham Wild West storefront. He added that his father, who died in 1998, “always told us, ‘When the museum starts costing you money, y’all need to move on and get rid of it.’ ”

The Rogers family is now auctioning off the displays of taxidermied horses, rhinestone-studded costumes, Colt revolvers and licensed products including lunch boxes and comic books. The first sale, with about 20 pieces, will be held on Saturday in Mesa, Ariz.

The auction house, High Noon Western Americana, has placed estimates of $20,000 to $30,000 on a 1950s plastic saddle painted with roses and 1930s silver-plated spurs attached to boots inlaid with eagle patterns. Fringed shirts from “Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors” embroidered with thunderbirds and horseshoes; belts studded with rubies; and silver-heeled shoes (“in good, but probably not wearable, condition,” the catalog notes) are estimated at $1,000 to $10,000.

In July, Mr. Rogers said, Christie’s in New York will auction much of the rest of the museum contents, including the preserved palominos and a Pontiac Bonneville with six-shooters for door handles. Christie’s does have a recent track record for Rogers memorabilia: at a country music sale last month , it sold two dozen of the couple’s former possessions, like guitars, cowhide gloves and song typescripts, for about $180,000, four times the high estimate.

Now is your opportunity to own a part of the wild west including his favorite horse Trigger and Trigger Jr.