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    Zerelda Samuel: A Black Mourning Shawl or Scarf Worn by Jesse and Frank James' Mother. Included with this lot are five important original family photos, in two of which Jesse's mother can be clearly discerned wearing this shawl!

    The cardboard box which has clearly held the scarf for some years is marked "From the James Family" on the inside, and "Mrs. Jesse James Mourning head cover" on the bottom. It is possible that over several generations the attribution became confused, but equally possible that the scarf was worn first by Zee and then given to Zerelda. In any case, Jesse's mother is clearly wearing it around her shoulders in these 1890s photos. The shawl is in excellent condition and measures approximately 36" x 36".

    In addition to the shawl and family photos, this lot includes a rare original photographic portrait of Zerelda measuring 3.375" x 4.75". It is a bit light, has a few pinpoint black spots and minor damage at the corners. Nonetheless, it is a moving image which seems to capture all the troubles and grief the woman had suffered for so long.

    Zerelda Samuel was not simply the brother's mother, but an integral character in their life's stories from the hanging of her husband to the Pinkerton bomb which cost her an arm and her young son, to her grieving over Jesse's violent end. A personally-owned item of such intimacy as this mourning scarf is a most important relic for the serious collector of James-related material.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,402

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