Collection of Framed John Wesley Hardin Artifacts


Fine lot of 4 artifacts related to the famous Texas gunfighter, John Wesley Hardin, including 2 original signatures, collected together in a double-sided frame.

Clockwise from left:

a) Original gambling chip from the Acme Saloon, where Hardin was killed on August 19, 1895. White chip with gold “ACME” on front, "R.B. Stevens / Prop." printed verso. 1 1/2" diameter.

b) Authentic shot card with original Hardin signature. Nine of hearts playing card, with four bullet holes executed by Hardin, signed and dated “J.W. Hardin / July 4, ‘95” (approximately six weeks before his death). 4 1/2" x 2 1/2". This is the best example of a Hardin shot card we’ve ever seen.

c) Original Hardin calling card. "JOHN W. HARDIN Esq. / ATTORNEY AT LAW / OFFICE 200 ½ El Paso / Wells Fargo Bldg. PRACTICE IN ALL COURTS". 2 1/8" x 3 1/8".

d) Original chit from the Wigwam Saloon, signed by Hardin. Dated May 8, 1895 (three months before he was killed), for “½ gal. whiskey 2.00 / Pint Rye .30” and signed in black ink, “J.W. Hardin”. Clipped, lined ledger paper with blue THE WIGWAM head stamp, spindle hole upper left. 2 1/4" x 3 7/8".

The artifacts have been expertly framed between Plexiglass to show both the front and the reverse of each item. Framed to 18" x 28".

In the center of the framed display is copy of a Hardin image, beneath which is mounted a brass plaque that reads: "John Wesley Hardin / Deadliest Texas Gunfighter / 1853-1895".

Provenance: Includes original Robert McNellis signed and notarized sworn statements for both the playing card and the calling card. Includes auction description from Alexander Autographs, Inc., Connecticut describing the Wigwam chit.

Lot 144, Brian Lebel's Cody Old West Auction - June 22, 2019. Santa Fe, NM.
Sold $23,600.

Two Documents with John Wesley Hardin's Signature


Chit or IOU from the Wigwam Saloon to John Wesley Hardin, with Hardin's Signature

IOU with WIGWAM stamp and charges for "Bottle Rye 1.10" and "Loss at Dice 6.00". Signed by "J. W. Hardin". Dated Aug. 16, 1895, three days before he was killed in the Acme Saloon down the street. Lined ledger paper trimmed to 2 7/8" x 3 7/8".

Lot 705, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $10,620.


John Wesley Hardin’s Signed Bar Bill from the Wigwam Saloon

Wigwam Saloon Ledger Account for John W. Hardin, for the period April 12, 1895 until the day of Hardin's death. Signed in two places by Hardin, with the final entry dated August 19, 1895, the day he was shot and killed in the nearby Acme Saloon. On that day at the Wigwam, he spent $3.15 on his bar bill, and .30 cents on cigars. The document is an extremely interesting account of Hardin’s life in El Paso in the months before his death, and includes gambling debts, loans, etc.

On August 18th, the day before he was killed, there is an entry for “Losses at Cards” in the amount of $70. It is by far his single largest gambling loss recorded on this ledger. July 4th must have been an interesting day, as it includes entries for “Drinks for Johnny” (likely Selman), “Bottle for Milton” (likely lawman, Jeff Milton), “Bottle of Rye”, and $20 cash.

The Wigwam clearly had good record-keeping. Hardin’s signature appears in the two instances where he made a payment on his account, but left a balance due. Hardin died owing the Wigwam $198.25.

Lot 707, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $18,880.