Two Lots: CDVs of Charlie Bowdre and Wife


CDV of Charlie Bowdre and Wife. 3 3/4" x 2 1/4", mounted to 4 1/8" x 2 1/2". Furlong, Las Vegas. photographer’s imprint on verso. Written in pencil on verso: “Charlie Bowdre”. Written in ink on verso: “Picture to Mrs. & Mr. Tom Yerby”.

Includes signed letter from former owner detailing the provenance of the CDV.

Lot 163, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $7,670.


CDV of Charlie Bowdre and Wife (With Blood Stains). 3 1/2" x 2 1/4", mounted to 3 7/8" x 2 1/2". Denver Photographic Rooms photographer’s imprint on verso. Written in pencil on verso, “Charlie Bowdre”. Image is stained with Bowdre’s own blood.

Robert McCubbin purchased this photograph from Jarvis Garrett (Pat Garrett’s son) in 1975. Jarvis said it was taken from Bowdre’s body by his father after Garrett’s posse killed Bowdre and captured The Kid at Stinking Springs.

Lot 164, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $12,980.

Two Lots: Bloody Bill Anderson


Cased Ambrotype of Bloody Bill Anderson. 2 3/8" x 2" (oval), case measures 2 7/8" x 2 1/2". Photographer unidentified. Back half of case only.

Robert McCubbin believes this to be of the famous Confederate guerrilla, Bloody Bill Anderson, Captain of Quantrill's Raiders.

Lot 327, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $3,835.


CDV of Bloody Bill Anderson. 3 5/16" x 2 1/4", mounted to 3 7/16" x 2 7/16". Unidentified photographer. Printed on front of card: "The Notorious Guerrilla Chief, WM. T. Anderson."

True West Magazine: “This rare carte de visite of Bloody Bill Anderson, one of the Civil War’s bloodiest pro-Confederate leaders, was made from the photo found on Anderson’s body when he was killed by Union soldiers in 1864.”

Lot 328, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold 1,089.

Cased Daguerreotype of a Frontiersman


3" x 2 1/2", hinged Union Case measures 3 1/2" x 3 1/4". Rare daguerreotype, expertly hand-tinted, sharp image of a frontiersman. Thought to be at least part Metis Indian, the striking figure is armed with his knife and tomahawk. Circa 1850s.

Robert McCubbin: "This is a superb image and one of the most important photos in the collection."

Lot 24, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $30,680.

The Billy the Kid Knife


The knife that Billy the Kid was holding when he was shot by Pat Garrett in Pete Maxwell’s house on July 14, 1881. The knife, as it was not a weapon, was never taken by the authorities (though it was noted in numerous accounts). Retrieved by Paulita Maxwell, it descended through the Maxwell-Jamarillo family for over a century.

DESCRIPTION (as if it matters!): Standard Green River skinning or butcher knife with a well-worn, full-length blade, 5 1/2" exposed and 9 3/4" overall. The handle is 3-rivet style, with wood slabs or scales. The handle shows heavy wear and is 3/4" thick. No visible markings or hallmarks.

PROVENANCE: Paulita Maxwell Jaramillo to her daughter Adelina Jaramillo Welborn, to her daughter Ollie Swanson, to her daughter Susan Swanson Wortham, to Frederick Nolan to Robert McCubbin.

Included with the lot:

• Handwritten testimony signed by Deluvina Maxwell and Adelina J. Welborn, March 20, 1926.

• Transcribed (typed) account by Deluvina Maxwell to J. Evetts Haley, June 24, 1927.

• Affidavit of Ursula Pacheco Y. Baca, August 10, 1951.

• Affidavit of Carndido Gutierres, September 19, 1951.

• Book: “Genealogical and Historical Data of the Jaramillo Family: Almost Four Centuries in New Mexico 1598-1989” by Pauline Jaramillo.

• Original correspondence between Frederick Nolan and Pauline Jaramillo, and Nolan and Robert Swanson, beginning in 1990, detailing Nolan first locating and then negotiating for the purchase of the knife.

• FedEx label from Susan Wortham to Frederick Nolan for an “Antique Knife.”

• Affidavit of Robert S. Swanson, July 13, 1997 upon the sale of the knife to Frederick Nolan, with accompanying original, signed photographs identifying the knife.

• Bob McCubbin’s personal ephemera and memorabilia regarding the knife, including photographs from the day he took ownership of the artifact from Frederick Nolan in Tombstone, Arizona, September 25, 1999.

"At that moment a man sprang quickly into the door, looking back, and called twice in Spanish, “Who comes there?” No one replied and he came on in. He was bareheaded. From his step I could perceive he was either barefooted or in his stocking feet, and held a revolver in his right hand and a butcher knife in his left.”

-- From "An Authentic Life of Billy the Kid the Noted Desperado of the Southwest," by Pat F. Garrett, 1882.

“The night he was killed Billy came in hungry, went down with a butcher knife to get some meat at Pete Maxwell’s. He told the people he was going down to get the meat and took a knife and went down to Pete's room. After passing the men waiting outside, he went into Maxwell’s room where Garrett was and he shot him.”

-- From Deluvina Maxwell’s oral account, June 24, 1927.

“We there saw a man lying stretched out upon his back dead in the middle of the room, with a six-shooter lying at his right hand and a butcher knife at the left.”

-- From “The True Story of the Death of ‘Billy the Kid’ Notorious New Mexico Outlaw,” by John W. Poe, 1919.

Lot 640, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $118,000.

Important Buck Morton Letter Regarding the Killing of Tunstall, and Morton’s Imminent Fate at the Hands of the Regulators, along with CDV


a) CDV of William Morton. 3 1/2" x 2 1/4", mount size 4" x 2 1/2". N. BROWN & SON photographer’s imprint on verso. Buck Morton was a Dolan employee and posse member.

b) Letter. Four, single-sided pages, handwritten in ink, from William S. (“Buck”) Morton to his distant relative, attorney Hunter Holmes Marshall in Richmond, Virginia. Dated March 8, 1878. 11 ½” x 8 ¾”.

Included is a circa, 1927 envelope from when Elizabeth Garrett sent the letter on loan to Maurice Fulton, the Roswell historian.

Provenance: From Jarvis Garrett to Robert McCubbin.

Robert McCubbin: “This came to me from Jarvis Garrett. It was something that he would not part with until the very end, when his wife was concerned about his health… Obviously, one of my favorite things in the collection.”

One of the most important epistolary artifacts from the commencement of the Lincoln County War. Buck Morton, involved with the posse who shot Tunstall and subsequently accused of Tunstall’s murder, is captured by the Regulators and is being held captive on Chisum’s Ranch. Morton writes about Tunstall’s shooting, and about his own surrender to the Regulators, whom he lists by name. He writes that he has been told he is being taken to Lincoln, but also that he doubts he will see Lincoln alive. He keeps hoping he might make it, but it seems clear that he knew that he would not.

The complete letter reads as follows:

“H.H. Marshall esq

Richmond, Va.

South Spring River N.M.

Mch. 8 1878

Dr Sir

Some time since I was called upon to assist in serving a writ of attachment on some property wherein resistance has been made against the law.

The parties had started off with some horses which should be attached, and I as deputy sheriff with a posse of twelve men was sent in pursuit of same. We overtook them and while attempting to serve the writ our party was fired on by one J.H. Tunstall the balance of his party having run off. The fire was returned and Tunstall was killed. This happened on the 18th of February. The 6th of March I was arrested by a Constable party accused of the murder of Tunstall. Nearly all of the sheriff’s posse fired at him and it is impossible for any one to say who killed him. When the posse which came to arrest me and one man who was with me, first saw us, about one hundred yards distant we started in another direction, when they (eleven in number) fired nearly one hundred shots at us. We ran about five miles, when both of our horses fell and we made a stand when they came up they told us if we would give up they would not harm us. After talking awhile we gave up our arms and were made prisoners. There was one man in the party who wanted to kill me after I had surrendered, and was restrained with the greatest difficulty by others of the party. The Constable himself said he was sorry we gave up as he had not wished to take us alive. We arrived here last night en route to Lincoln. I have heard that we were not to be taken alive to that place. I am not at all afraid of their killing me but if they should do so I wish that the matter should be investigated and the parties dealt with according to law. If you do not hear from me in four days after receipt of this I would like you to make inquiries about the affair.

The names of the parties who have me arrested are R.M. Brewer, J.G. Skirlock [sic], Chas. Bowdre, Wm Bonney, Henry Brown, Frank McNab, “Wayt” Sam Smith, Jim French (and two others named McCloskey & Middleton who are friends). There are two parties in arms and violence expected. The military are at the scene of disorder and trying to keep peace. I will arrive at Lincoln the night of the 10th and will write you immediately, if I get through safe. Have been in the employ of Jas. J. Dolan & Co, of Lincoln for 18 mo’s since 9th Mch, 77. Have been getting $60.00 per month have about six hundred dollars due me from them and some horses &c at their cattle camps. I hope if it becomes necessary that you will look into this affair. If anything should happen I refer you to T.B. Catron US Attorney Santa Fe N.M. and Col. Rynerson Dist. Atty. La Messilla N.M. They both know all about the affair as the writ of attachment was issued by Judge Warren Briscol La Messilla N.M. and everything was legal. If I am taken safely to Lincoln, I will have no trouble but let you know.

If it should be as I suspect, please communicate with my brother Quin Morton Lewisburg W.Va. Hoping that you will attend to this affair if it becomes necessary and forgive me for troubling you if it does not.

I remain Yours Respectfully / W. S. Morton"

Lot 730, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $5,900.

Rare Photographs of Calamity Jane


Cabinet Card of Calamity Jane. 5 1/2" x 3 3/4", mount size 6 1/2" x 4 1/4". R. L. Kelly PIERRE, S. DAX. photographer's imprint on front of card. Written in pencil on verso, “Calamity Jane taken by R.L. Kelly Pierre SD / This is a genuine and rare picture of Calamity Jane.” And then in ink below, “Emory Cantey, Jr. Collection”. Circa 1901.

Lot 75, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $3,835.


Photograph of Calamity Jane. 9 1/2" x 7 7/16", mount size 10 3/4" x 7 7/8". Printed on strip on image, “Calamity Jane, [struck out] / Copyright by H.R. Locke, 1895.” Written (printed) on front of card, “ “Calamity Jane”.“ Stamped on verso, “This Photograph from Historical Collection on E.A. BRININSTOOL Los Angeles, Cal.”

Robert McCubbin: "The largest such photo I have seen."

Lot 78, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $11,800.


Rare Cabinet Card of Calamity Jane. 6" x 3 7/8", mount size 6 1/2" x 4 1/4". Unidentified photographer, but same clothing as Locke photo. Perhaps the only copy in existence.

Robert McCubbin: “This is the only cabinet card of this that I have seen, and I have never seen this photo published.”

Lot 79, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $2,655.


Cabinet Card of Calamity Jane. 5 7/16" x 3 3/8", mount size 6 1/2" x 4 1/4". Printed on plate beneath image, “Calamity Jane, Gen. Crook’s Scout. Copyrighted by H.R. Locke, 1895.”

Lot 80, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $2,360.


Rare Cabinet Card of Calamity Jane. 5 3/8" x 3 7/8", mount size 6 3/8" x 4 3/16". Printed at bottom of image, “MRS. BURKE: CALAMITY JANE.”

Robert McCubbin: “This is the only known original of the only known “portrait” of Calamity.”

Lot 81, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $1,888.