Important Charlie Russell Illustrated Letter to Harry Carey leads Sale at January Auction

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Important Charlie Russell Illustrated Letter to Harry Carey leads Sale at January Auction 

The famous letter from artist C.M. Russell to his friend, Hollywood star "Harry" Carey, will cross the block at Brian Lebel's High Noon Auction in Mesa, Arizona.

MESA, AZ – Over 350 historic and important items will be offered at the 25th annual High Noon Auction, held live in Mesa, Arizona at 5:00 pm, January 24, 2015. The Russell letter is dated February 25, 1921 and references "buried treasure" (booze) on Carey's Ranch, accompanied by an illustration of drunken cowboys. From the estate of the Carey Family Trust, the letter is featured in several books and has never before been offered for public sale. It is estimated between $90,000 - 115,000. The auction is held in conjunction with Brian Lebel's High Noon Show, a weekend dealer sale featuring 150 vendors in authentic Western art, antiques and Americana.

C.M. Russell illustrated letter to Harry Carey

C.M. Russell illustrated letter to Harry Carey

In addition to the Russell letter, the auction also boasts the first-time offering of Tom Horn's last Winchester, a model 1894 .30-30 that he was carrying the night he was arrested for the murder of Willie Nickell, a crime he may or may not have committed. Horn gifted the rifle to his friend C.B. Irwin just days before Horn's execution, and it has remained in the Irwin family since that time. Estimated at $125,000 – 175,000, it is one of several items from the Irwin estate.

Fine art auction offerings include a rare pair of Indian-themed original oil paintings by the late Thomas Kinkade, works by deceased Cowboy Artists of America members James Reynolds and J.W. Hampton, a fine Will James drawing, bronzes by the likes of Herb Mignery and Joe Beeler, and works by contemporary artists such as John Moyers and Eric Michaels. Other artists of note that will be represented in the sale include Ila McAfee, Ross Steffan, Edward Curtis, Olaf Weighorst, Raphael Lillywhite, Richard Bernhard Friese and others.

Native American artifacts will also be well represented at the sale, including a fully beaded Cheyenne cradleboard, a historic dewclaw necklace worn in photos by the Indian Half Moon, several room-size Navajo textiles, a pair of stunning men's war shirts, and totems by the late master carver Don Lelooska.

For the Hollywood collector, there is the original artwork by Richard Amsel for the movie poster for John Wayne's last film, "The Shootist," as well as items relating to "Gun Smoke," "The Searchers," and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon." The rope Steve McQueen used when he played Tom Horn in the famous movie of the same name, as well as the double barrel shotgun he used in "The Magnificent Seven" will both be offered. Items from the Harry Carey estate, the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum Collection, and numerous Edward H. Bohlin items round out the Hollywood collectibles.

N. Porter Silver and Gold Parade Saddle

N. Porter Silver and Gold Parade Saddle

As always, the auction will include fine cowboy trappings such as saddles, spurs, bits and bridles from noted makers like Porter, C.P. Shipley and G.S. Garcia. Numerous silver saddles will be offered, as well as fine examples of horsehair bridles and vintage gun leather.

Brian Lebel, who purchased the High Noon event this past spring, is excited about the overall quality and diversity of the items in this year's January sale. "It's not every day that I have to decide between a famous Charlie Russell letter and a famous outlaw Winchester for my favorite auction piece," he says. "Both have impeccable provenance, and both are amazing examples of American Western history in their own ways." Lebel is also known for his summer event, Brian Lebel's Old West Show & Auction, which he is relocating this June to Fort Worth, Texas.

Brian Lebel's High Noon Auction will offer live, phone, Internet and absentee bidding options. An auction preview is held on Friday and Saturday, and a full-color catalog is available for purchase. The auction will be held at 5pm on January 24, 2015 at the Phoenix Marriott Mesa in Mesa, Arizona, and both the auction and preview are free and open to the public. The High Noon Show will be held the same weekend, January 24-25, 2015 at the adjacent Mesa Convention Center, and admission is $10 per day. Early buy-in during dealer set-up on Friday is available. More details, discount show coupons, auction highlights and more can be found at www.oldwestevents.com or by calling 480-779-9378.