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Penney estate sale concluding

The third and final installment of the Charles Rand Penney estate sale -- and a glimpse of how the renowned collector lived during the last years of his life -- is on tap today and Saturday in Lockport.

Penney, who died at age 87 in 2010, left behind an enormous collection of art, books, souvenirs and assorted memorabilia.

Much of the art and local history material was donated to area museums, but that left behind a large amount of other belongings that were offered for sale last September in Lockport's Kenan Arena and in February in the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in Buffalo.

"Unsold items from those sales will have reduced prices, but due to previous space limitations, the bulk of what will be sold here will be fresh to the market," said Bruce Ader, who has been organizing the sales. The material will be available where most of it was stashed all these years -- the fifth floor of the Bewley Building at Main and Market streets in Lockport.

F. Gerard Hogan, the Lockport attorney who is serving as executor of Penney's estate, said Penney lived in the Bewley Building for most of the last 15 years of his life.

"He had a cot there with some of his Mr. Peanut collection on one side and his World's Fair collection on the other," Hogan said. "That's dedication to your collection."

Although the Mr. Peanut collection isn't for sale -- it was bequeathed intact to a friend named in Penney's will -- a lot of World's Fair items are available, ranging from 1853 to 1967.

Ader said a large amount of "ephemera" from the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo will be available.

Also for sale is Penney's reference library of more than 700 volumes; hundreds of catalogs; his camera collection; and a wide range of smaller items.

The estate's lease on Suite 538 in the Bewley Building runs out April 30, and Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III has directed Hogan to close the estate by Aug. 1, the second anniversary of Penney's death.

In his will, Penney, who never married and had no children, presumed most of his collections would be sold, with proceeds to be divided in a share system among beneficiaries, which include relatives, friends and local museums.

Hogan said $150,000 to $200,000 has been realized from the previous sales and Internet auctions of some of the more specialized items.

Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted during the sale, which will last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com