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    From the Fitterer Family Collection

    Jim "Kid" Willoughby: Archive with Trunk, Colt Single Action, Hat, and Signed Photo. This is a fabulous grouping that belonged to one of the most famous of Buffalo Bill's "Wild Bunch," the cowboys who helped define the Wild West. Willoughby (1857-1916) ranged over all over the West working for some of the greatest cattle outfits of the day, including Wyoming's Swan Land and Cattle Company. He joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West in 1885, a year after winning Montana's bronc-riding championship. His gritty and flamboyant riding earned him the nickname "Mustang Jack" during the Wild West's seasons in England and France. But for all his savvy with bucking horses, he was a sucker for the teenaged Lillian Smith, the flirty "California Girl" who joined the show as a sharpshooter in 1886. They married as the Wild West headed for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. When she ran off with another cowboy near the end of the season (only to resurface a year later in the States with Mexican Joe's Wild West as "Princess Wenona") he raged around like a madman, according to letters home from Buffalo Bill's nephew.

    Like other Wild West cowboys, Kid Willoughby found his way to Hollywood where he appeared as, of course, a cowboy in early silent films. When he died in 1916, Douglas Fairbanks is said to have footed the bill for his funeral.

    Very few authentic and colorful mementoes of Buffalo Bill's cast members and Wild West associates have come to light. And most of what has survived is in museums. In fact, the only thing of Jim Willoughby's (also known as Kid Willoughby, Jim Kid, and Jim Kidd) of which we are aware is an engraved presentation medallion (or concho) in the collections of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. Lot includes:

    Leather-Covered Trunk studded with the initials "J*K" and still clearly stenciled "Buffalo Bills" along with Willoughby's self-styled "Jim Kid Scout."

    Jim Kid's Black Hat with crescent pin and piercings for the chin strap.

    Kid's Cartridge Belt and finely-tooled double-loop holster, marked "Browning Bros," made expressly for:

    Kid's One-of-a-Kind Colt Single Action Army Revolver, SN 160529, chambered in the rare .38 caliber, shipped as a special order in 1895 to Browning Brothers, Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah. It came blued from the factory but was nickel-plated for Kid, presumably by the Brownings who were among the best and best-known gunsmiths and outfitters in the West. The backstrap is professionally engraved, in script, "Jim Kidd," again probably by Browning Brothers.

    Framed Cabinet Photo of Jim "Kid" Willoughby taken shortly after he joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West, inscribed and signed.

    (Lot description by Paul R. Fees)


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