Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Sheriff Bill Tilghman: The Legendary Oklahoma Lawman's Own Colt Revolver. A one-time buffalo hunter, Tilghman began his law enforcement career in Dodge City, Kansas-at the time of Earp and Masterson-and was one of the "Dodge City Peace Commissioners." But his real reputation would be made in Oklahoma Territory, where as a deputy U.S. Marshal he helped stamp out the notorious Wild Bunch and single-handedly captured the outlaw Bill Doolin. After years of retirement Tilghman returned to law enforcement at the age of 70 in 1924 as marshal of Cromwell in Seminole County, Oklahoma. Less than a year later he was murdered by a corrupt Prohibition agent with whom Tilghman had clashed over his repeated releasing of miscreants arrested by Tilghman.

    During the intervening years Tilghman pursued a variety of activities, even serving as a consultant on Western silent films and acting in one in 1915, "The Passing of the Oklahoma Outlaws," which told the story of the lawman and his "Oklahoma Guardsmen."

    This gun was purchased by the consignor in a 2000 Butterfields' auction, where the lot description quoted a November 18, 1920 Los Angeles Herald interview with Tilghman: "...Bill lifted the lid of his flat-topped trunk and waved a hand for me to look in. There lay 15 revolvers, with barrels all the way from 5 inches to 9 inches in length. He had them polished and heavily plated with gold and silver...Some had gold cylinders and silver barrels..." A copy of the Butterfield's catalog is included as part of this lot.

    The present example has a silver-plated finish with gold-washed ejector rod, cylinder, and hammer, all of which show light to moderate wear from years of handling. The backstrap is engraved "Wm Tilghman Dept. U.S.M." (deputy U.S. marshal). Stag horn grips. Included is a copy of the 1992 Colt factory letter, stating that the gun was delivered to Evans & Spencer, Salt Lake City, September 17, 1888. Overall nice condition with tight, crisp action. A great relic from one of the most colorful and famous Old West lawmen.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2015
    25th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,916

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Oct 25, 2015 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 February 19 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search