Butch Cassidy's Colt SAA at $250,000 in Wild West auction
The Colt SAA .45 was the first gun Butch Cassidy bought on his release from jail
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Sunday 23 September 2012
A Colt SAA .45 that once belonged to Butch Cassidy is to provide the highlight of an upcoming Wild West auction that will be held in California on September 30.
The Colt is the gun that Cassidy brought upon his release from prison in 1896. He had just served 18 months of a two year sentence for horse theft and one of his first actions was to rearm himself, purchasing the .45 calibre Single Action Army from a hardware store in Vernal, Utah.
It is said that Cassidy often patted the grip of the gun and said: "The combination to my retirement lies in a Denver bank."
The Colt will be accompanied in the auction by a superb collection of related documents from the former owner, who embarked on a mission in the late 1960s to find more details on the guns provenance.
Included are letters between the owner and Lula Parker Betenson, Cassidy's younger sister. Betenson can be seen holding the gun in her book Butch Cassidy, My Brother, which later goes on to confirm the Colt's serial number - 158402.
Also included in the remarkable collection is an original letter and photograph from William Darby, one of Cassidy's men. In the letter he attests to the authenticity of the weapon, saying that is was "Butch's coat gun that he carried under his arm most of the time and without a question, this is it."
An astonishing piece of the history of one of America's most infamous outlaws, the Colt and supporting documentation will sell with a $150,000-250,000 estimate.
Also featuring in the sale is an English-made rifle that was presented to Buffalo Bill Cody, which will sell for $20,000-25,000. This could be a conservative estimate, given that Cody's Remington revolver sold for $239,000.
September 30 will also see the personal guns of notorious outlaws Bonnie & Clyde sell, with each expected to bring $200,000+.
Check back with us regularly to ensure you don't miss out on the results of these sales and more news from the world of firearms collecting.
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Images: California Auctioneers