May 8, 2017

Another supposed Soapy Smith related revolver

Sold as Soapy Smith's gun?
Courtesy of Invaluable auction house
(Click image to enlarge)

nother supposed Soapy Smith revolver?

I almost dislike giving these sort of items any advertising. Invaluable auction house in Denver, Pennsylvania is having auction on June 10, 2017 that contains a revolver that they claim was one of the revolvers Skagway's U.S. Deputy Marshal J. M. Tanner and others sold and gave away to others, with the impression that it once belonged to Soapy Smith.

Lot 1007: (A) New York Style Engraved Colt Model 1878 With Carved Grips & Presentation.
Starting bid of $1,100 and an estimate of $4,500 - $6,500

Description (condensed from original):
  • Shipped to E. C. Meacham in St. Louis on February 7th, 1890.
  • Shipped as .44 caliber with 5-1/2" barrel, nickel finish and rubber stocks.
  • Now finished in blue, has nearly full coverage scroll and punch dot Helfricht style engraving, large 1902 trigger guard with large extended trigger, Colt silver medallion ivory grips with Indian brave carved on right panel.
  • Backstrap is engraved "Soapy Smith Skagway 1897" (old spelling). There are numerous photographs of the revolver on the website, but the auction house forgot a photograph of the engraving!
  • His great-grandson [me] has an interesting website dedicated to Soapy and all things related, such as stories, weapons that have surfaced, etc. We had several interesting exchanges regarding this revolver in which he stated that when Soapy was killed on July 8th, 1898; he was so well-known that everyone wanted a souvenir that belonged to him. This revolver with the beautiful presentation on the back, dated 1897, was probably one such revolver. It was made up and sold to a wealthy miner as a souvenir. 
  • [at least they admit that] unfortunately, Soapy had been buried for three years before Colt ever produced the large trigger guard and trigger. Since the finish and engraving continues from gun onto trigger guard, it must be assumed that it was engraved with the large trigger guard and trigger assembly after Soapy was dead. This exquisite revolver would have thrilled Soapy to no end, as even in death, unscrupulous people were using Soapy's name to continue the con. 
  • "For other interesting tidbits, you might want to visit Soapy's great-grandson's website about Soapy:"
  • Manufacturer: Colt, Model: 1878, Serial Number: 24737, Caliber: .44-40, Barrel Length: 5 - 1/2", FFL Status: Antique, Paperwork: , Blade Length: , Overall Length: , Gauge: , Chamber: , Length of Pull: , Drop at Comb: , Drop at Heel: , Internal Bore Diameter: , Barrel Wall Thickness: , Choke: , Weight: , Length of Pull: , Chamber: , Paperwork: Yes

Invaluable link to revolver.
Soapy Smith's Weapons (Alias Soapy Smith website) 

"He knew how to use to his advantage anything he had ever read, from news stories to literature. He wrote and published essays, stories, and poetry that conveyed not only the sporting man’s activities but also heart-felt political feelings of the day. Thankfully, he collected and saved most of his writings and business documents, giving us the unique opportunity to view the world as he saw it, or at least as he sought to portray it."
Alias Soapy Smith, p. 16


1541: Hernando De Soto reaches the Mississippi River. He calls it Rio de Espiritu Santo.
1794: The U.S. Postal Service is established.
1827: First known as Cantonment Leavenworth, Fort Leavenworth is established on the Missouri River as an army post to protect travelers on the Santa Fe Trail.
1829: Sublette's pack-train, en route West by way of Independence, Missouri travels out the Santa Fe Trail some distance before turning northwest toward the Kansas River. This becomes the Oregon-California trail route.
1846: The first major battle of the Mexican-American War is fought in Palo Alto, Texas, resulting in victory for General Zachary Taylor's forces.
1847: The rubber tire is patented by Robert W. Thompson.
1862: James and Granville Stuart erect the first sluice box for catching gold at Gold Creek, Montana Territory.
1879: George Selden applies for the first automobile patent.
1886: Pharmacist Dr. John Styth Pemberton invents "Coca-Cola."
1904: U.S. Marines land in Tangier, Morocco to protect the Belgian legation.

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