Wild West gambling memorabilia brings saloon style to Heritage Auctions

Collectors got a taste of a Wild West-style saloon at Heritage Auctions' this past weekend, as part of the November 8 Legends of the Wild West auction in Dallas.


Thomas Wesley Hardin was one of the meanest outlaws around, even shooting a man for snoring



The sale was headlined by gambling memorabilia from the American frontier, with an autographed card shot-through by notorious Texas gunslinger John Wesley Hardin selling in top spot at $13,750.

Dating to July 4, 1894, the card is one of six such examples believed to have originated from a shooting competition.

Hardin is said to have been one of the fiercest Wild West outlaws, even shooting a man just for snoring. He is also known to have had several encounters with lawman and gambler Wild Bill Hickok, also famed for his gunslinging skills, but both remained cordial.

Following the card was one of Hardin's signed bar tabs from an El Paso saloon, which made $10,000.

Hardin spent much of his time in El Paso's saloons until August 19, 1895, when a routine dispute with lawman John Selman Jr turned nasty - Selman returned to the bar and shot Hardin in the back of the head several times. The tab dates to just a few month before at the Acme Saloon.

The Sands casino chip vintage
The Sands is emblematic of the Las Vegas Strip's glitzy heyday in the 1950s



Also selling was a $5 chip from famous Las Vegas casino The Sands, a historic venue on the Strip that opened in 1952 and welcomed the Rat Pack among its regulars.

There is a well-established base of collectors who specialise in vintage poker chips, especially those dating to the early heyday of Las Vegas gambling. Another chip from the MGM Grand Hotel made $1,250 in the sale.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic autograph from famed gunslinger Annie Oakley - a true icon of the Wild West.


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