February 24, 2010

Soapy Smith's Poker Chips?

(Click image to enlarge)
Lot #296:
Two Soapy Smith gambling chips

A post on True West Magazine Forum led me to the Mangold Auction firm where lot #296 had two gaming chips said two have been Soapy’s. The description reads,

Display of famous "Old West" conman Soapy Smith pics, postcards and two poker chips owned by him. Molly of Fly Photography, Tombstone, Arizona postcard of Ed Schiefflin, the founder of Tombstone. Antique booklets, calendar and more.

I wrote to Mangold’s asking about the chips and here is what they had to say.

Soapy Smith: Here is the reply from the consignor on lot 296.
Subject: Re:
Lot 296

At one time we did have a letter but don't know what happened to it. We bought the chips from an antique store in Globe AZ. We have no reason to doubt his word. He also told us that he had sold Doc Holliday's dentist tools which we found out was true from soneone else. We had never heard of Soapy Smith until he told us about who he was and that he knew Wyatt Earp so we bouoght them. He had a stack of chips but we just bought 2. We later bought the postcards off ebay or made copies of the photos from books.

The photograph is poor but having collected gambling artifacts in the past I’d say they sort of look like the wood/paper pulp compressed chips of the mid 1900s, well after Soapy was deceased.


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