Annie Oakley’s Shotgun Fetches $143,400 at Auction


Annie Oakley, the famous sharpshooter of the late 1800s and early 1900s, died in 1926 at the age of 66. She left her guns, items like her Stetson hat, personal letters, photographs and more with her descendants.

On Sunday, June 10, new owners took their winnings home from an event put on by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The item to take in the highest amount was Oakley’s 12-gauge shotgun, made by the Parker Brothers. The final selling price was $143,400. It is believed that this was the weapon Oakley impressed England’s Queen Victoria with during the queen’s Golden Jubilee after 50 years on the throne. Oakley demonstrated her marksmanship skills as part of Buffalo Bill Cody’s famed Wild West Show in 1887.

The gun buyer was not identified by Tom Slater, director of historical auctions for Heritage Auctions, but Slater said the man was a private collector of Oakley and Buffalo Bill items and that he purchased a number of pieces from the auction.

About 100 of Oakley’s items were up for auction in an event called “Legends of the Wild West.” The event brought in $518,875 total. Oakley’s great-grandnieces put the items up for auction that they had inherited from their mother, Billie Butler Serene, who died in 2009 at the age of 95.

The great-grandnieces were sad to see the items go, but overall, the auction left one of the descendants, Terrye Holcomb, with a happy feeling. One man flew in from Odessa to bid on one of two Marlin .22 caliber rifles, one that sold for $71,700 and another for $83,650. He asked Holcomb and her sister to sign the catalog.

“He said his kids couldn’t wait to shoot it,” Holcomb told the Associated Press.

Detail of Annie Oakley's 12 gauge shotgun made by the Parker Brothers. Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions. Click the image for a higher resolution.
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