August 6, 2010

Soapy Smith's soup spoon.

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Soapy Smith's soup spoon?

An eBay auction for a soup spoon that "belonged" to Soapy Smith ended August 5, 2010 with 3 bids. The winner paid $322.54. Two members of the family, including myself, wrote to the seller contesting the legitimacy of the claim but with such a high winning price I believe we only succeeded in helping the sale, perhaps making the bidders believe family members were trying to keep non-family from raising the bid.

Below is the description of the auction.


Hello there. Here's a SUPE RARE item that probably doesn't really belong on Ebay. But, we live in Portland, Oregon NOT New York City! This is a Very Special Alaskan Northwest Indian Mountain Sheep Ram Feast Spoon. It was hard carved in Alaska circa 1898. It is guaranteed to be 100% LEGIT! The Engraving" reads..."Soapy Smith's Soup Spoon...Dawson (Alaska) March 1, 1898." For those of you that don't know, Soapy Smith was the MOST Notorious Con Man of the ENTIRE Old West. So much so that he died in Alaska in 1898, at only 37 Years Old! This is such an interesting piece of ART/HISTORY...! Like I said, it doesn't really belong on Ebay, with all the CRAP! I guess SOAPY was kind of a GREEDY Bastard, thus calling this Beautiful Carving his "Soup Spoon!" We don't know a lot about it, other then it turned up in a Portland, Oregon Estate a few years back. We kept it (as a caretaker) for a while and now think that it's time to send it down the road. We are also including a reprint of the 1898 Alaska Newspaper recounting Soapy's Death. We took a LOT of Pictures. Please Enlarge and Zoom the Pictures. They tell the story, like they always do. USA Shipping ONLY. However, if you live outside the USA and have an address in the USA that I can send it to, should you win, I'd be happy to arrange for you to bid. Just email me. Lucky New Owner Pays $25.00 for Shipping, which includes Delivery Confirmation AND INSURANCE. If it costs less to ship, we'll refund any excess monies to you. We're not looking to make any money via shipping. We just want to loose any money doing it. I ship everything...Cross Town or Cross Country. Thanks for respecting that.
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"Soapy Smith's Soup Spoon"


Jay, a great-grandson of Soapy, wrote the seller.

Question: Are you saying this is Soapy's? I am the Great Grandson of Soapy Smith. and this would not have been his personally as he hated the name "Soapy" and never went by it. I'm interested in the history of it though if you know anything more about it. I would be interested in it as I collect pretty much anything of his name. thanks Jay Jul-30-10

Answer: No, I am not saying that this was Soapy's. It just mentions. The spoon is dated March, 1898 and Soapy died July, 1898.

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"Dawson March 1, 1898"

The answer given by the seller was not sufficient in my mind so I wrote as well.

Question: Your description, including the Wikipedia article about Soapy Smith does imply that you are selling it as having once belonged to Soapy. As author of ALIAS SOAPY SMITH: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A SCOUNDREL, I fully agree with my cousin Jay that this item IS NOT Soapy's as inscribed on it. The reasons vary, including that Soapy had no use for kitchen ware as he was a very successful gambler and crime boss who traveled around, often staying at the best hotels and rarely ever needing to cook his own meals, let alone travel with utensils to do so. Jeff Smith Aug-03-10

Answer: I HAVE NOT REPRESENTED THIS ITEM AS BELONGING TO SMITH! I AM POSTING THIS EMAIL TO THE AUCTION, SO ALL WILL KNOW THAT...I AM NOT SAYING THAT THIS EVER BELONGED TO HIM...OR THAT HE EVER FEASTED HIS EYES ON IT. KAPISH!!!

The seller did his part. If the buyer believes the spoon was actually Soapy's then there is nothing anyone can do...until the buyer tries to sell it.








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