A two-day Wild West auction in California, held September 29-30, saw Butch Cassidy's Colt .45 sell, accompanied by a brilliant selection of related documents.
Upon his release from prison in 1896, one of Cassidy's first actions was to arm himself with the Colt .45 Single Action Army, which he purchased from a local hardware store in Vernal, Utah. The outlaw had just served 18 months of a two year sentence for horse theft - his only period spent behind bars.
Cassidy is known to have carried the gun from 1896 to 1899, which is the period that made his reputation as the leader in countless heists. It is said that he often patted the Colt's grip and said: "The combination to my retirement lies in a Denver bank."
The collection of supporting documents came from the gun's former owner E Dixon Larson, who travelled across the United States between 1967 and 1970 in search of information relating to its provenance. Included are letters from Laura Parker Betenson, Cassidy's younger sister, and William Darby, one of Cassidy's men, who both attested to its authenticity. Cassidy's sister can be seen holding the gun on page two of her book, Butch Cassidy, My Brother.
The Colt went to auction with a $150,000-250,000 estimate and sold comfortably within this, at $175,000. The sale occurred on the same day as another outlaw-themed auction, which saw the guns that Bonnie and Clyde were holding when they were ambushed by a posse sell for a combined $504,000.
Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more of the latest collecting news and investment advice.