September 12, 2016

Soapy Smith's gamblers travel kit?

"J. R. SMITH
1892
ORLEANS CLUB"
(Courtesy of Cam Cogsdill)
(Click image to enlarge)






oapy Smith's gamblers kit?
From the Orleans Club, 1892?





Cam Cogsdill sent me some nice photographs of a gamblers travel kit he believes belonged to Soapy Smith. His email is as follows.
_________________________
Jeff
I own a gamblers set that used to belong to Soapy. I have enclosed pictures for your review as I thought you may be interested:

The box is marked on the top:

J.R. Smith
1892
ORLEANS CLUB

Set Includes:
79 Ivory ioker chips
Card cheater sleeve clip
Engraved Elgin gold pocket watch
Dice
Case key
The two revolvers are as follows: Boston Bulldog 1887 – 1899 Defender, 2 1/4″ octagon or round barrel, half-fluted cylinder, mostly with bird’s head grips, 1875 – 1888

Regards,
Cam Cogsdill
_________________________


Top level/shelf portion
Ivory chips, watch card hold-out, dice, key
(Courtesy of Cam Cogsdill)
(Click image to enlarge)

I don't know Cam, but I thought his item was intriguing enough to share. I gave him a call and we had a very pleasant conversation. He purchased the item from a family in Virginia, whom he says did not mention "Soapy," that they apparently did not know the name. Cam did a little research and found me. I did express my concerns about the authenticity, as fakery in the old west collecting field has always been a huge problem.

Personally, I always question the authenticity of items like this. It could possibly be real, but I can't say for certain. I do not believe that Soapy would have had this box manufactured for himself, especially considering he was only in Creede, Colorado for around four months. He operated the Tivoli Club in Denver for nearly nine years and thus far nothing like this, engraved with his name and that of his saloon, has surfaced within the family collections, that I know of. However, it is possible that a friend or someone very appreciative of Soapy, could have had this gambler's box personalized as a "thank you" gift.  

He states that he is not interested in selling this item, however, I will be happy to pass along any messages and contact information from those who wish to talk to him.

 
Top level close-up
Ivory chips, watch card hold-out, dice, key
(Courtesy of Cam Cogsdill)

(Click image to enlarge)

_________________________


Bottom level/shelf portion
Two pistols
(Courtesy of Cam Cogsdill)

(Click image to enlarge)

_________________________


The insides

(Courtesy of Cam Cogsdill)

(Click image to enlarge)

_________________________



"When Soapy was a small child his father would go into Newnan every Saturday and get drunk, and would take Soapy to drive him home. It would make Soapy so mad he would dump his father (who had passed out) in the back of the wagon and whip the mules to go lickedy-split over the rutted road so his father’s head would whack with every bump…."
—Ellen P. Rafeedie



SEPTEMBER 12


1609: English explorer Henry Hudson sails down what is now known as the Hudson River.
1814: The Battle of North Point is fought in Maryland (War of 1812).
1864: A government supply train of 205 wagons departs Fort Scott, Kansas for Fort Gibson in Indian Territory.
1866: "The Black Crook," known to be the first American burlesque show, opens in New York City.
1873: The first typewriter is sold to the public.
1874: The Battle of Buffalo Waller takes place in Hemphill County, Texas. While delivering dispatches, Billy Dixon, Amos Chapman, and four others, are attacked by nearly 100 Kiowa and Comanche Indians. The men take refuge in a hollow in the ground created by rolling buffalo. They are trapped for three days later suffering one casualty before the military rescues them.
1878: Patent litigation involving the Bell Telephone Company against Western Union Telegraph Company and Elisha Gray begins.
1882: The Tombstone, Arizona Epitaph reports that Johnny Ringo is drunk in Galeyville.





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