Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 86

The Manuscripts, Collectibles & Space Auction

Western Americana
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 743
Hardin, John Wesley (1853-95) Texas' most notorious outlaw and gunslinger who claimed to have killed 42 men when he was sent to prison in 1878. His victims were white, black, and Mexican--anyone who riled his temper--and included federal soldiers and state police, who were often pursuing him. Hardin studied law during the 16 years he was in prison, but couldn't toe the straight and narrow after being released. He moved to wild and woolly El Paso where he took back up his bad habits. On August 19, 1895, he was playing dice with grocer H.S. Brown in the Acme Saloon when Constable John Selman walked in and shot Hardin in the back of the head.

Rare playing card signed ("John W. Hardin"), 3½ x 2½ in. Signed horizontally across the center of the playing card, the two of spades. Harding wrote the date, "Aug. 5, 95" above his signature and "3 shots" below his signature. The smaller hole, above, was made by one shot; the larger hole, below, was made by two shots through the same hole. Signed two weeks before Hardin was killed.

The playing card is from a set of "Triplicate Cards" made by Andrew Dougherty. On Oct. 11, 1875, Dougherty patented playing cards with "miniatures" in diametrically opposed corners, which allowed a player to hold his cards in a tight fan and still see what he had.
Estimated Value $5,000 - 8,000.
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