Important Lincoln County War Document


Lot of Photograph and Document Relating to Sheriff George W. Peppin and John Kinney.

a) 5 3/8" x 4", mounted to 6 1/2" x 4 1/4". CUBAN AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPH GALLERY, SANTIAGO DE CUBA photographer's imprint on front. (Kinney is on the far left)

b) Hand written and signed note from Sheriff and Deputy U.S. Marshal, George Peppin. Dated June 28th, 1878 from Fort Stanton N.M. 3 3/4" x 7 3/4". It reads, “This is to Certify that I have summoned John Kinney, as one of my Posse to assist in quelling the Riots in Lincoln Co.”

Robert McCubbin: “The ‘Riots’ was the showdown in Lincoln between Peppin and the Dolan crowd against McSween and his. It went on for five days and ended when the corrupt Sheriff Peppin set fire to the McSween house.”

Lot 182, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $10,000-15,000.

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.
Estimate $25,000-35,000.

Rare Photograph of George Peppin


4 3/4" x 6 7/8", mounted to 5 1/8" x 7 1/8". Unidentified photographer. Written in pencil on verso, “Dad Peppin / Sheriff of Lincoln Co / in big fight at Lincoln & legal [illegible] of Murphy faction"

Robert McCubbin: “This is one of the only known photos of Peppin. Taken in 1905 on the occasion of the visit to Lincoln by author Emerson Hough and Pat Garrett. Peppin is sitting in a rocking chair on a building boardwalk with snow patches on it. It is an important photograph.”

Lot 168, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $15,000-20,000.

"Hands Up" Pinkerton Painting by Ludcke


Original oil painting used by the Pinkerton Detective Agency for their famous "Hands Up" advertising poster. No matter where you move, the robber’s gun is always trained on you.

36" x 20"

Signed lower left: Ludcke

Framed to 44" x 28"

In 1891 a Reno gambling house was held up by a masked gunman. A suspect was arrested and charged with the robbery because he could not give a satisfactory account of his movements or why he had a considerable amount of gold. The suspect was Tom Horn.

At the trial, those present at the robbery were summoned as witnesses for the state. The defense attorney asked that all the witnesses be excluded from the courtroom except when testifying. The first witness identified the prisoner as the man who had committed the robbery. When asked if he had a gun and why he made no effort to stop the hold-up, he testified he did have a gun but could not make a move because the robber had his gun pointed directly at him. One by one the witnesses were brought into court, each testifying much the same.

The defense attorney pointed out to the court that twelve men had sworn they were covered by one gun at the same time. He claimed that was ridiculous and the men must be liars. The lawyer made the state witnesses the laughing stock of the trial and the accused was discharged from custody.

A German by the name of Ludcke, known as the “Cowboy Artist,” was in the courtroom. He thought that one man with one gun could appear to be covering all twelve people. A cowboy posed for him pointing a gun and the result was this life-size oil painting the artist titled “Hands Up!” It showed clearly that one gun could appear to cover a dozen people, or more, at the same time. The painting ended up in a hotel in Spokane.

Later William Pinkerton of the Pinkerton Detective Agency was in Spokane on business and saw the painting. On being informed of how it had come to be painted, Pinkerton said that his interest in the painting was because one of his detectives, Tom Horn, was the man on trial as the robber. At the time of the robbery Horn was working on a railroad case and it was necessary that his identity remain a secret. Pinkerton was made a gift of the painting and it was hung on the wall of his New York City office. The Pinkerton Company then later used the image in popular black and white advertising posters.

Lot 635, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $50,000-70,000.

Robert Widenmann’s Handwritten Account of Tunstall’s Murder, with CDV


a) CDV. Widenmann. 3 1/2" x 2 1/8".

b) Letter on Lincoln County Bank stationery. Two-pages, written on front & back. 9 7/8" x 7 7/8". A harrowing, first-person account of the killing of Tunstall, by his friend, Robert Widenmann. Widenmann would eventually flee Lincoln County (and America) for fear for his life.

The letter reads as follows:

“When W. Tunstall first came to Lincoln he was treated well by LG Murphy & Co. They tried to sell him some of the ranches to which they had no titles, but after seeing that he would not bite at this bait they began to be mean and run him down. They, LG Murphy Co controlled Lincoln County politically and commercially. Mr. T seeing a good opening here decided to open a store and establish himself permanently here. No sooner had this decision become known than LG Murphy & Co, who had in the meantime been transformed into LS Dolan & Co, showed their hatred and ungentlemanly opposition. They saw that as soon as any man with capital came into the country they would loose their controll, that as soon as the people, whome they had so persistently robbed and kept on the verge of poverty, saw that they could deal with an honest man who always gave them their just dues, they would loose the greater part of the trade. Reily told McSween that he would have him and Tunstall stolen poor, that he would not do it himself but would get others to do it. T went to St. Louis and while there most all of the horses were stolen by Jesse Evans, Tom Hill, Frank Baber Geo. Davis. Dolan borrowed $1000 from McS. who loaned it to J.J. Dolan & Co on T’s a/p. The note was not paid as Dolan refused to recognize T in the transaction. After McS.’s arrest at Las Vegas and return here the Governor’s message was received here and showed that the territorial taxes had not been paid to the Territorial Treasury on Jany 1st. T wrote to the Mesilla Independent stating the fact and also stating how the money had been used which information Dolan himself supplied. Before this T had upbraided Brady for the escape of Evans and party from the county jail. Brady at that time reached for his revolver but McS. prevented his using it. T went Mesilla with McS. and while there his life was threatened by Dolan. On the return from Mesilla Dolan and Jesse Evans surprised T at San Augustine, drew his carbine down on him 3 times cursed him and in leaving him said, “You won’t fight now, you coward, but I’ll get you yet.” Before T’s arrival here Brady attached all T’s property on a writ of attachment on McS. On returning from Mesilla, T, McS. and party were waylayed between Doolin’s Mill and Fort Stanton, but fortunately they took the lower road ~ On the 17th, July T arrived at the ranch about 10 o’cl PM and it was decided to return to Lincoln the next day with the loose horses. McCluskey was sent to the sheriff’s Posse which consisted of some 30 or 40 men, on the Rio Penasco, to tell them that they could take the cattle and leave a good man with them and that we would also leave one to take care of the cattle. Our party consisted of T, RM Brewer, Wm. Bonnie, John Middleton and RA Widenmann. Waite was sent around with the wagon. We started about 8 O’cl AM and traveled slowly. About 5 O’cl PM (July 18th) while T, Brewer and I were driving the horses Middleton and Bonnie were about 500 yards in the rear a flock of turkies rose near the trail. Brewer and I took after them while T staid with the horses. Brewer and I had got some 50 to 100 yards from the trail when we heard a noise in our ear. Turning in our saddles we saw a body of horsemen coming over the hill on a gallop. No sooner did these men see us, than they came in our direction at once commencing to shot at us. We saw that we had no chances against such odds on the ground we were on and therefore made for the opposite hill which was covered with rocks and timber. On our way there we were met by Middleton and Bonnie. Middleton at once said that T had been killed, that he had tried induce him to come our way but T evidently being excited did not understand him and rode directly into the party. It was afterwards ascertained that T rode up to the party without firing at them, that Morton commenced cursing him ordered him off his horse, and when on the ground Jesse Evans shot him through the chest, which shot felled him to the ground. Morton then jumped from his horse, drew T’s pistol from its scabbard shot T through the head, shot T’s horse in the head with the same pistol and then mashed T’s skull with the butt of his gun. We kept our position, the murdering party, after killing T rode partly around us but did not come within reach of our rifles, and then disappeared behind another hill. We made the best of our way towards town. It was afterwards ascertained that they had on the Penasco plotted to kill T, Brewer and myself.”

Lot 729, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $60,000-90,000.

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.
Estimate $8,000-10,000.


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.
Estimate $10,000-15,000.

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.
Estimate $800,000-1,200,000.

Tintype of John Wesley Hardin


2 1/4" x 1 1/2", mount size 4" x 2 1/2". Unidentified photographer. In original paper sleeve (oval). The most iconic Hardin photo and the only known original in existence. Robert McCubbin believed it to be one of the most important photographs in his collection.

Provenance: Laid into the Hardin family photo album, and descended through the Hardin family. From Amanda Clements, the daughter of John Wesley Hardin’s cousin, Joe Clements; to her son, Joe Hardin Clements; to Robert McNellis; to Robert McCubbin. Accompanied by a copy of the letter from Robert McNellis, dated 1979, regarding the provenance of the album and how he came to be in possession of it.

Robert McCubbin: "One of the most famous of all outlaw photos, and the only original known. One of the top photos in this collection."

Lot 358, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $50,000-75,000.

Rare Gus Goldberg "Elko Star" Spurs with Bit


Stunning California spurs marked inside the heelband, "Gus Goldberg / Sacramento, Cal / J E" for Juan Estrada. An important and sought-after pattern with a matching unmarked bit. A very important pair of spurs by a scare maker, with an even scarcer maker mark. The bands are 1 3/8" at the widest and the shank which holds the 2 1/4", 14-point rowel is 3" long. The original straps are mounted with 2 1/4" domed cut-out star conchos. The condition is spectacular with very slight signs of wear, one small piece of silver missing from the top of one 5-point star. A similar pair of spurs in this pattern are noted in “Bits & Spurs in the Vaquero Tradition” by Ned & Jody Martin on page 194: "These extremely rare spurs were made by John Estrada. The Moorish star and crescent moon motifs embellish these exquisite spurs."

The bit has the typical Estrada amazing engraving with a loose jaw spade, copper covered braces, double slobber chains and the laid-in cut-out star.

The set remains all original. The verbal history is that the whole set came from a ranch family that purchased them from the Goldberg Saddlery directly. They were pioneers to the Mother Lode region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. Circa 1921 - 1925.

Gustave Goldberg (1872-1942) / Juan Jose (John) Estrada (1865-1942)

Lot 607, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $25,000-35,000.

Photograph of Tom Horn


8 1/2" x 6 1/2", mount size 10" x 8". Unidentified photographer (known to be W.G. Walker). Affixed to verso are newspaper clippings describing Horn’s hanging.

Circa 1903 image of Tom Horn in jail office in Cheyenne awaiting his hanging. He holds a horsehair reata that he has been weaving in jail.

Lot 210, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $15,000-25,000.

N. Chas Castillo Silver Show Saddle


An impressive sterling silver mounted show piece with black floral tooled leather. Circular cartouche on seat, "N. CHAS CASTILLO / SADDLEMAKER / LOS ANGELES - CALIF." 14 ½” seat with 3 ½’ cantle completely covered in engraved silver. Corners decorated with 3” to 4 ¼” domed conchos. 20” tapaderos. Matching martingale with graduated silver domes, matching bridle with replaced 3-piece face plate. Crockett S-shank bit with engraved sterling overlay. Black and white corona. Includes stand.

Lot 501, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $10,000-14,000.

Sunday Supplement to the Daily Gazette Regarding Jesse James’ Death


Rare complete, four-page supplement to the “The Daily Gazette” / St. Joseph, Mo, Sunday, April 9, 1882. The entire issue is dedicated to Jesse James, his life, career, death, funeral and legacy. Filled with interesting material, quotes, anecdotes and the like.

Measuring 14 ½” x 20 ½” and cased in a custom portfolio.

From the Robert G. McCubbin Collection.

Lot 637, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $14,000-18,000.

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.
Estimate $15,000-25,000.

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.
Estimate $8,000-12,000.


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.
Estimate $20,000-25,000.


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.
Estimate $18,000-24,000.


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.
Estimate $12,000-18,000.


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.
Estimate $12,000-18,000.

Wonderful D.E. Walker - Visalia Parade Saddle


Sterling Silver and gold decorated, rich brown saddle, with flower tooling and fixed corona. This elegant saddle has 24” tapaderos and matching martingale and bridle with a Visalia show bit. There are 240 pieces of sterling silver, including the full cantle cover and swells, plus 16 gold horseheads. An amazing example from the noted maker. Complete with a set of matching tooled stirrups. Includes stand.

Lot 502, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $25,000-30,000.

Wild Bill Hickok's Straight Razor


A John Pearce, bone handled straight razor with silver dot inlays, with case. From James Butler Hickok's Deadwood, North Dakota estate and descended through his family.

Provenance: Accompanied by a signed and notarized document that reads as follows:

“This silver inlaid, bone handled straight razor with its accompanying black case belong to James Butler (Wild Bill) Hickok and was retrieved following his death in Deadwood, South Dakota in Aug. 1876, by his brother Lorenzo Butler Hickok. The razor was subsequently given to Wild Bill’s older brother Horace Dewey Hickok who resided in the Hickok home town of Homer, Illinois (presently Troy Grove, Illinois). The razor then passed to Horace’s daughter Ethel, and later to myself, Edith Andrews Harmon, Ethel’s niece and executor of her estate. The razor was recently sold to Steve Dancey.”

Signed Edith A. Harmon and notarized.

From the Robert G. McCubbin Collection.

Lot 639, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $70,000-90,000.

Fabulous Frank Coenen Lots


Frank Coenen Sterling Silver Mounted Vest and Gunbelt. Two-piece, matched set by the master saddlemaker and silversmith, Frank Coenen.

(a) Stunning black leather, parade vest mounted with heavy gauge, sterling silver repousse floral pattern panels with twisted rope edge, and flowers inset with real rubies. Doeskin lined. Size appears to be something like a men's medium.

(b) Ornate sterling-covered black, floral carved gun rig for a Colt Single Action, with repousse holster, twisted rope edge and silver spots. The rig is fully trimmed with rectangular silver conchos and secured via a 3-piece horseshoe buckle set.

Vest measures 20" from top to bottom, the belt fits approx a 32" waist.

Includes custom stand for displaying both pieces together.

Frank H. Coenen, saddlemaker and silversmith extraordinaire, emigrated from Denmark to the USA in the early 20th century entering the saddle business in Southern California in 1906 during that transitionary period between the traditional utilitarian tack of the old west and the rapid ascent of the flashier Hollywood cowboy. A fellow Scandinavian like Edward H. Bohlin, Coenen became one of Bohlin’s chief rivals, producing some of the finest sterling silver parade outfits of the era including the multiple gold-medal winning saddle for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. Frank's stunning, heavy gauge sterling silver repousse creations were coveted by the most discriminating Hollywood clientele of the day including Tom Mix, Will Rogers and Wallace Beery. Several of his Coenen's most renowned saddles tell a story or chronicle historical events like his illustrious San Fernando model with its twenty-two completely different cowboy scenes.

Lot 574, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $20,000-30,000


Californio Hat with Frank Coenen Silver Ornamentation. Fabulous 1930s Californio/Bolero style, white fur hat adorned with elegant Frank Coenen heavy- gauge sterling silver floral and vine pattern repousse embellishments inset with rubies.

The hat includes a twisted silver rope chin string, original white satin lining and leather sweatband. The exquisite silver hatband is beautifully sculpted and features a vaquero roping a ruby-eyed bull. A divine blend of sophisticated Spanish styling and Danish silver artistry. Exemplary, 100% original condition.

Lot 575, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $10,000-15,000.


Lot of Five, Frank Coenen Sterling Silver California Parade Saddle Accessories.

a) Breast Collar. Stunning Frank Coenen pictorial breast collar, featuring six action-packed repousse cowboy scenes and a double golden-headed Eagle in the center. 32" x 43". A fabulous display piece on its own!

b) Cinch. Coenen sterling covered vine and flower repousse pattern ends.

c) Stirrups. Pair of Coenen repousse stirrups with rope edge, vine & flower motif inset with rubies.

d) Saddle Drape. Heavy-gauge, double-sided, by Coenen, depicting massive and detailed eagle in high relief repousse work on a decorative floral background with silver rope edge. 15" x 17. Includes stand.

e) Tassel Drop. Lavish Coenen silver tassel with sterling covered head. Includes stand.

Lot 576, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $15,000-20,000.


Important Frank Coenen Parade Spurs. Aesthetically breathtaking and extremely rare Frank Coenen double-mounted, California parade spurs. Cheyenne split heelbands, intricate and impressive 60-point rowels, and fully sterling covered with heavy gauge repousse vine and flower designs inset with real rubies. Spurs affixed to matching Coenen straps secured by 3-piece Phillip Fredholm (Los Angeles) buckle sets. Superb, 100% original condition, circa 1930s. Includes custom display stand.

Lot 577, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $15,000-20,000.


Frank Coenen Silver and Gold Figural Bridle and Bit. Artistically adorned, the bridle features bold three-dimensional gold buffalo heads in the center of the nose and brow bands framed by repousse silver leaves, while the silver chain drop supports oval silver panels with raised silver and gold initials/names and fraternal moon and stars with inset diamonds and rubies. The bridle cheeks replicate the style and imagery of the front panels with the addition of a stately, heavy-gauge sterling silver three-dimensional Indian head with bonnet at each brow. Coenen has utilized a variety of decorative silver buckles, spots and latches to integrate the headstall pieces and support the ornamental Visalia Stock Saddle Company humane bit overlaid with matching silver repousse and gold buffalo heads. Last but surely not least, is the leather split reins and romal with its large, elaborate and adjustable silver slide, mounted with dozens of intricate and decorative flat ferrules separated by miniature rings. Excellent condition.

Frank Coenen was definitely not building a range or rodeo bridle 90 years ago when he carefully designed and methodically constructed this very unique, custom show piece.

Lot 578, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $10,000-15,000.