BILLY THE KID'S WINCHESTER 1873 WHICH HE STOLE FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE DURING HIS DRAMATIC ESCAPE. Serial no. 20181 for 1876, 20 inch round barrel folding rear-sight blued finish.

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Lot 10
BILLY THE KID'S WINCHESTER 1873 WHICH HE STOLE FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE DURING HIS DRAMATIC ESCAPE.
Serial no. 20181 for 1876, 20 inch round barrel folding rear-sight blued finish.

Sold for US$ 375,312 inc. premium
BILLY THE KID'S WINCHESTER 1873 WHICH HE STOLE FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE DURING HIS DRAMATIC ESCAPE.
Serial no. 20181 for 1876, 20 inch round barrel folding rear-sight blued finish. Walnut stock with steel buttplate with cleaning rod compartment. Condition: Very good. Traces of blued finish mainly on magazine balance turning plum brown. Areas of light pitting/corrosion/flaking. Well worn stock with bruising scratches and losses/separation to wood. No dust cover.
Provenance: Billy the Kid, taken from the Lincoln County Courthouse during his escape; obtained by Pat Garrett at Pete Maxwell's farm after he killed Billy the Kid; given to Joseph C. Lea (signed and notarized statement, January 18, 1897, and signed handbill, November 15, 1903); EXHIBITED: New Mexico Military Institute, 1898-1925; by descent to cousin Joseph Smith Lea, also bookkeeper to John Poe; to John Bunting (photocopy of a letter from Hiram Dow, executor of Lea's estate, giving the history); to Fred Zaffley; sold by his estate to Robert E. McNellis, El Paso, TX (signed and notarized statement); sold to Jim and Theresa Earle, Fall, 1980.

BILLY THE KID'S WINCHESTER 1873 WHICH HE STOLE FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE DURING HIS DRAMATIC ESCAPE, TAKEN FROM THE MAXWELL RANCH WHEN HE WAS KILLED BY PAT GARRETT, given by Garrett in 1884 to Joseph C. Lea, known as the "Father of Roswell," who had brought Garrett to Lincoln County to run for sheriff.

As Billy the Kid escaped from the Lincoln County jail on April 28, 1881, weeks before he was to be hanged, he grabbed from the open armory this Winchester 1873, as well as two revolvers. As he came down the stairs, Bob Brookshire, a local stonemason, was coming out into the street, and the Kid told him, "Go back, young fellow, go back. I don't want to hurt you, but I am fighting for my life. I don't want to see anybody leave that house." He road out of town on Billy Burt's horse, saying as he left, "Tell Billy Burt I will send his horse back to him." When Garrett returned and was searching for the Kid's trail, Billy Burt's horse came in dragging a rope. For the next few month's Billy the Kid stayed in the vicinity of Fort Sumner, staying with or near Pete Maxwell, and reportedly carrying on an affair with Pete's sister Paulita.

When Garrett came to Pete Maxwell's ranch near midnight on July 14, 1881 with John W. Poe and Thomas McKinney, he unintentionally stumbled into Billy the Kid. The Kid had stopped in for food, and hearing noises in Maxwell's room, he stepped in, asking "Quien es?" Garrett, by Maxwell's bedside asked the same, "Who is it, Pete?" and Maxwell replied, "That's him," and Garrett fired hitting the Kid in the chest, ending the year long pursuit of one of the West's most notorious outlaws.

The Winchester 1873 was Billy the Kid's most trusted gun, and the same model appears at his side in the only surviving photograph of the Kid.
Contacts
BILLY THE KID'S WINCHESTER 1873 WHICH HE STOLE FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE DURING HIS DRAMATIC ESCAPE. Serial no. 20181 for 1876, 20 inch round barrel folding rear-sight blued finish.
BILLY THE KID'S WINCHESTER 1873 WHICH HE STOLE FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE DURING HIS DRAMATIC ESCAPE. Serial no. 20181 for 1876, 20 inch round barrel folding rear-sight blued finish.
BILLY THE KID'S WINCHESTER 1873 WHICH HE STOLE FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE DURING HIS DRAMATIC ESCAPE. Serial no. 20181 for 1876, 20 inch round barrel folding rear-sight blued finish.
BILLY THE KID'S WINCHESTER 1873 WHICH HE STOLE FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE DURING HIS DRAMATIC ESCAPE. Serial no. 20181 for 1876, 20 inch round barrel folding rear-sight blued finish.
BILLY THE KID'S WINCHESTER 1873 WHICH HE STOLE FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE DURING HIS DRAMATIC ESCAPE. Serial no. 20181 for 1876, 20 inch round barrel folding rear-sight blued finish.
BILLY THE KID'S WINCHESTER 1873 WHICH HE STOLE FROM THE LINCOLN COUNTY COURTHOUSE DURING HIS DRAMATIC ESCAPE. Serial no. 20181 for 1876, 20 inch round barrel folding rear-sight blued finish.
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