October 28, 2016

Faked Jeff Smith's Parlor match safe

Jeff Smith's Parlor match safe?
(Click image to enlarge)

abricated, fraudulent, fictitious.
The faked Soapy Smith match safe.

    On October 16, 2016 an eBay auction ended with a winning bid of $392.67 for a match safe that supposedly came from Jeff Smith's Parlor, Skagway, Alaska. The match safe itself is antique, but it is not from Jeff Smith's Parlor. At one time I was a collector and seller of match safes. I learned what I could from books but I never considered myself an expert on them.
    This safe naturally caught my eye as it appeared to be related to Soapy Smith. There are some major flaws which exposes the fact that this was fabricated by someone that is not familiar with Soapy and Jeff Smith's Parlor.

  1. Jeff's Place Saloon: That was not the name of the saloon. The term name "Jeff's place" was used in the 1935 biography, The Reign of Soapy Smith. It was used in conversations by people who knew Soapy, such as "you will find Pete down at Jeff's place."
  2. Tobacco spirits cards: The term spirits was rarely used for the advertising of alcohol in the 19th century. The ads for Jeff Smith's Parlor specifically states "no cards - no gambling."
  3. The saloon pictured on the back of the match safe is not Jeff Smith's Parlor.

Wait, that's not Jeff Smith's Parlor?
 (Click image to enlarge)

This cranky and crooked eBay seller made sure I could not contact him, blocking my address from eBay contact. If you read his description below you can see that he has no intentions of returning anyone's money easily, especially if you find out that the item is a fake.

We don't want to misrepresent anything and if we accidently [sic] do, please return the item for a refund. Do not ask to return something if you simply have second thoughts, buyer's remorse, you tried to sell for a profit but couldn’t, your spouse is busting your chops about how much you spent, you find one for less, it doesn't fit your décor, or you just wanted to see what it looked like close up. Ask questions before you bid. But again, If we have accidently [sic] stated something wrong, please inform us of what we said that was incorrect and if so, we will be more than happy to refund your money. Extrapolations, assumptions on your end, conjecture, simply don't count. We want to know what we stated was incorrect and that is the only reason for a return. If you can't handle that, please refrain from bidding. Remember, this is an auction and not Nordstrom's or Macy's. We are fair and we expect you to be.

I am hoping that the buyer contacts me.


"And when I die don't bury me deep; leave one hand free to fleece the sheep."
— (Opening text from the 1941 film Honky Tonk)


1636: Harvard College is founded in Massachusetts. The original name was Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was the first school of higher education in the new world.
1776: The Battle of White Plains takes place during the American Revolutionary War.
1793: Eli Whitney applies for the patent for his cotton gin.
1835: Texan militia and Mexican soldiers skirmished near San Antonio at the battle of Concepción in Texas, the opening engagement in the siege of Bexar. Some 90 Texans under command of James Bowie and James W. Fannin Jr., defeat a force of 275 Mexican soldiers and two cannon. Causalities on the Mexican side include fourteen killed and thirty-nine wounded. The Texans have one killed and one wounded.
1869: William F. Cody, chief scout for the 5th Cavalry returns to Fort McPherson, Nebraska to winter. In the past year he participated in seven expeditions and nine battles against Indians tribes.
1869: Comanche and Kiowa Indians attack the 4th and 9th Cavalry expedition, camped near the Fresh Water Fork of the Brazos River, Texas. Captain John Bacon and a detachment pursue the Indians for 30 miles and counter attack them. Eight Indians are killed, several more wounded. An Indian girl is taken prisoner.
1878: With less travel on the Sante Fe Trail due to the arrival of the railroad in 1870, the garrison at Fort Larned, Kansas is transferred to Fort Dodge.
1880: Tombstone City, Arizona Territory, Marshal Fred White is shot and killed by William “Curly Bill” Brocius. The gun discharged when Brocius was handing over his pistol to White, when Deputy Sheriff Wyatt Earp grabbed Brocius from behind. The death is ruled an accident.
1880: The 10th Cavalry is attacked while scouting near Ojo Caliente, Texas. Two soldiers are killed.
1886: The Statue of Liberty is dedicated in New York Harbor by President Cleveland. The statue, originally known as "Liberty Enlightening the World," is a gift from France.
1894: Denver, Colorado prostitute Marie Contassot, age 23, is the second of three serial-murders the newspapers called “the triplet murders.” The killer struck first on September 3 and for the last time on November 13, and then disappeared from history, perhaps frightened by a $1000 reward and a slew of private detectives joining the city police search net.
1901: Famed trick shot, Annie Oakley, is seriously injured in a train wreck while traveling with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show near Lexington, Kentucky.
1904: The St. Louis, Missouri police department becomes the first to use fingerprinting.

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