An historic Colt single action army revolver attributed to famed outlaw William H. 'Billy the Kid' Bonney

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Lot 2120ANTIQUE
An historic Colt single action army revolver attributed to famed outlaw William H. 'Billy the Kid' Bonney

Sold for US$ 64,350 inc. premium
An historic Colt single action army revolver attributed to famed outlaw William H. 'Billy the Kid' Bonney
Serial no. 22384 for 1876, .45 caliber. 7 1/2 inch barrel with Hartford address. Walnut grips, right side of butt with seven notches. Together with notarized letter of provenance from Ben M. Cummins. The letter states that after Bonney escaped from the Lincoln County, New Mexico jail he fled to Fort Sumner. There he hid the gun in a tree and later told his friend Jesus Silva where it was. After Bonney was killed by Pat Garrett, Silva was called in to identify the body. He also built the coffin used to bury the outlaw and dug his grave. He later traded the gun to Milton Brown, a Clovis, New Mexico lumberyard owner for a Colt revolving rifle. Brown in turn gave the revolver to his son-in-law Maurice Cummins who bequeathed it to his son Ben.
Condition: Gun has been cleaned and shows areas of light pitting overall with generally clear markings. Grips worn.
See Illustration

Footnotes

  • Note: Jesus Silva is well-known to have been an intimate of Billy the Kid's. See pages 155-57 of The Real Billy the Kid by Miguel Antonio Otero.
    Sold in these rooms on May 12, 1998, lot 2618. The gun was donated to and sold to benefit the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

Saleroom notices

  • Ejector Rod and housing replaced. Factory Records indicate the pistol was shipped to J. P. Moores Sons, New York, New York on January 19, 1876. There were 50 guns in the shipment.
Auction information

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Lot symbols
ANTIQUE Antique - pre 1899

Handguns that fall outside the Section 5 authority will be labelled ANTIQUE.

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