By Celine Wright
2:53 PM EDT, June 26, 2013
The revitalization of the western could be the biggest trend of the summer, especially with the release of “The Lone Ranger.” Perfectly timed with this, memorabilia from the hit western show “Bonanza” is going up for auction in Reno.
“Bonanza,” which ran from 1959 to 1973 on NBC and spent several seasons as America's favorite TV series, chronicled the adventures of the Cartwrights, who lived on a huge ranch, the Ponderosa, in Nevada. The family of Lorne Greene, who played patriarch Ben Cartwright, will be auctioning off memorabilia from the show and some of his own personal items on Saturday at Anchor Auctions and Appraisals. Greene died in 1987 at the age of 72.
The auction was arranged by Greene’s son, Chuck, who decided he “had too much stuff” and wanted to allow the public access to some of the items, including awards, art, sculpture and tea sets.
The artifacts of most interest, of course, are the “Bonanza” memorabilia -- including the branding iron of the Chevrolet logo that was featured in the opening credits of almost every episode.
“I don’t know about you, but I grew up in that generation, and it would be fun to have some of those items,” said Connie Pilliod, co-owner of Anchor Auctions and Appraisals
Another notable item is a “Bonanza” belt buckle inlaid with a $20 gold coin, which is now worth nearly $3,000. It was produced at Nevada’s Carson City Mint and given to Greene as a gift by the McBride family of Virginia City, who own the famous Bucket of Blood Saloon. It's expected to sell for about $10,000.
Auction house co-owner and auctioneer Jeffrey Pilliod said a single-action Colt rifle that was made specially for Greene will probably sell in the $15,000 range.
“I’m guessing 90% of buyers will be 'Bonanza' fans, and the other 10% will be 'Battlestar Galactica' fans,” Pilliod said, referring to the science-fiction drama in which Greene starred from 1978 to 1980.
The auction is Saturday, but even if you’re not in Reno you can still bid on your favorite items over the phone or online.
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