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Annie Oakley’s hat, guns up for auction

DALLAS – Relatives of legendary sharpshooter Annie Oakley are offering up a collection of items – including her Stetson hat, guns, letters and photographs – in an auction that one expert says hits the mark for its breadth and sentimental value.

Today, Heritage Auctions will offer up about 100 Oakley-related items in Dallas, including a 12-gauge Parker Brothers shotgun that is expected to fetch about $100,000. Two Marlin .22 caliber rifles are expected to sell for more than $20,000 each.

Oakley gained fame in the 1880s and 1890s for her shooting skills as a performer in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. She died in 1926 at the age of 66, but has remained a pop culture icon.

“The country kind of took her to heart,” said Tom Slater, Heritage’s director of Americana auctions.

Over the decades, her likeness has appeared on everything from dolls to lunchboxes and her life story inspired a Hollywood movie and Broadway’s “Annie Get Your Gun.”

The items are being offered up by Oakley’s great-grandnieces – sisters Tommye Tait and Terrye Holcomb of California. They inherited the items from their mother, Billie Butler Serene, who died in 2009 at the age of 95.