Auction estimates exceed $6 million for the upcoming sale of the well-known Robert G. McCubbin Collection of Old West photographs and artifacts at Brian Lebel’s 29th annual Old West Auction, January 25-26th in Mesa, AZ.
Mesa, AZ - Old West Events is proud to offer the Robert G. McCubbin Collection, January 25-26, 2019 at the 29th annual Mesa Old West Auction. Consisting of over 1,500 total pieces, it is regarded as the most extensive and important collection of Old West photographs, artifacts and documents in private hands. From Billy the Kid to Wild Bill Hickok, the most famous people and places of the Old West are represented. The photography portion of the collection will be sold Friday, January 25th; the documents and artifacts will be sold on Saturday, January 26th. Auctions begin at 5:00 pm each evening; combined estimates exceed $6 million. Held at the Delta Marriott Mesa hotel in Mesa, AZ, both auctions are free and open to the public, and all lots may be previewed in person. Bidder registration is free, and bidding may be done live, online, by mobile app, via phone or absentee. Catalogs are available for purchase, or viewed online at https://auctions.oldwestevents.com
Among the photographic highlights are rare and historic photos of notable Old West figures such as Jesse James, Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, Bat Masterson, Belle Star, Yellowstone Kelly, Geronimo, Sitting Bull and many, many other famous and infamous names. The highest estimated photo is the original and famous studio portrait of Butch Cassidy, Sundance, and the Wild Bunch that helped to both cement their fame and doom them to capture, which McCubbin obtained directly from the Pinkerton National Detective Agency (estimate: $100,000-150,000). A tintype of John Wesley Hardin from Hardin’s personal album is among the rarities (est: $50,000-75,000), as is a Doc Holliday carte de visite (est: $70,000-90,000).
The collection also features a number of important Old West artifacts, including the knife that Billy the Kid held when he was shot dead by Pat Garett in Pete Maxwell's room July 14, 1881 (estimate: $800,000-1.2 million). Other important artifacts include the ice mallet that killed Wild Bunch outlaw Ben Kilpatrick in the famous failed train robbery (est: $50,000-80,000), Rose of Cimarron's rifle (est: $150,000-200,000), and Wild Bill Hickok's straight razor (est: $70,000-90,000). The ephemera includes hundreds of original documents, including extensive archives related to James Dolan, the Lincoln County War and other important Old West figures and events.
Auction owner Brian Lebel has known Robert McCubbin for almost 30 years, and is honored to work with him. Lebel says, “Bob has the passion of a collector, but the discipline of a scholar. It’s a rare combination that has resulted in him amassing an unparalleled collection of authentic and well-curated material.” McCubbin acquired many of his very rare and valuable items directly from the heirs and descendants of the legendary subjects, and as a result, many of the most important pieces in the collection are accompanied by impeccable provenance.
Consisting of over 1,500 total pieces, McCubbin’s Collection will be sold both as individual items and grouped into lots across both auctions. Catalogs are available for purchase, or may be viewed online at https://auctions.oldwestevents.com. Complete details may be found at oldwestevents.com, facebook.com/oldwestevents, or by calling 480-779-9378.
About Old West Events
Old West Events is home to Brian Lebel's Old West Shows and Old West Auctions, held every January in Mesa, Arizona, and every June in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Each annual event consists of a weekend vendor sale with hundreds of dealers, along with an exciting, live Saturday night auction. Both the events feature the best authentic western art, antiques and artifacts available for public sale. The Old West Auction is best known for the 2011 sale of the only authenticated photograph of Billy the Kid (the “Upham tintype”) for $2.3 million.
Brian Lebel began the Cody Old West Show & Auction in June 1989 in Cody, Wyoming as a way to bring together like-minded collectors of cowboy and western antiques and trappings. The event was held in Cody every June for 19 years, before moving first to Denver, Colorado, then to Fort Worth, Texas, and finally to Santa Fe, New Mexico. In Spring of 2014, Lebel purchased the annual High Noon Show & Auction in Mesa, Arizona, and formed a new venture: Old West Events. The company prides itself on its reputation for honesty, quality and authenticity.