DescriptionWyatt Earp's Leather Wallet Embossed with his Name, By Tradition Carried on his Person at the O. K. Corral Gunfight. This wallet was one of the most important Earp artifacts in the legendary Tombstone collection of John Gilchriese. Gilchriese obtained the wallet, along with many other Earp items, from John Flood, longtime aide and friend of Wyatt. It was purchased from Gilchriese in 1986 by respected author and western authority R. L. Wilson, and it was to Wilson that Gilchriese related the oral tradition of the wallet. When the wallet passed to Wilson there was no mention of the fact that "W. Earp" was embossed in the leather. Wilson discovered the name only later, hidden under the leather strap, possibly for security reasons.
When Wilson resold the wallet he provided a letter of authentication which omitted the Gilchriese connection. When we asked why, he replied that at the time he was still getting great material from Gilchriese, and wanted to keep his source confidential. He has since provided a second letter which is more forthcoming about the wallet's provenance (both letters may be viewed with our website presentation of this lot).
The wallet is in very good condition although showing clear indications of years of use. It is of a size to accommodate the old large-size currency which was in use from the 19th century up through the 1920s. Folded open as shown, it measures 10.5" x 7.75".
Many folks today, even among Western collectors, are unaware of the fact that Wyatt Earp, unlike personalities like Billy the Kid and Buffalo Bill, was not famous during his lifetime. It was not until Stuart Lake published "Frontier Marshal" after Earp's death that his story became legend. Accordingly, very few Wyatt Earp autographs, photographs, and artifacts have survived. This much-used wallet is thus a very special opportunity for the advanced Western collector.
Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Miscellaneous Collectibles, Large (view shipping information)
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