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    Description

    John Wesley Hardin: An Iconic Shot-through and Signed Playing Card, Signed and Dated July 4, 1895. In the pantheon of notorious Old West Gunslingers John Wesley Hardin manages to stand out as among the deadliest. Known for his hair-trigger temper, he claimed to have killed 42 men when he was finally convicted of murder in Texas in 1878 (contemporary newspaper reports attributed "only" 27 killings to Hardin). On one famous occasion in 1871, he killed a man for disturbing his sleep. When pounding on his hotel room wall failed to silence the offender, Hardin fired three bullets through the wall, killing the man instantly. While in prison he studied law and was pardoned in 1894. In July of that year he received his law license. However, Hardin continued his wild ways, and in August of 1895 was famously shot to death in El Paso's Acme Saloon after a dispute with John Selman, himself a lawman and former outlaw.

    Although we have been unable to find any details of the event, Hardin apparently put on a display of his shooting prowess on the 4th of July, 1895. This is the third playing card-each shot through three times and signed and dated by Hardin-which Heritage has sold. The first card, framed with three Acme Saloon gambling chips and his business card, brought $31,070 in June 2012 (that playing card was signed, but not dated). The second example, despite a smudged signature and date, sold for $13,750 in our November 2014 Western auction.

    The specimen offered here is unquestionably the finest of the three, with appealing Queen of Spades graphics and very sharp signature and date. It has been attractively matted and framed with a facsimile copy of Hardin's best-known photo.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2015
    25th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,316

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