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Rarities highlight Lebel’s annual Old West auction June 23

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 08 June 2012 13:55

Sharpshooter Frank Butler’s Parker shotgun from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, circa 1900. Estimate: $25,000-$30,000. Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction image.

DENVER – Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction will offer 400 lots of fine Western art and artifacts at its 23rd annual sale on June 23. Following in the footsteps of last year’s $2.3 million sale of the Billy the Kid tintype, this year’s auction also boasts numerous rare and important artifacts of the Old West. Items relating to Frank & Jesse James, Black Bart, Wyatt Earp, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Buffalo Bill are among the notable offerings. will provide Internet live bidding.

An authentic reward poster for the “arrest and delivery” of Frank and Jesse James (est. $15,000-$25,000) is one of the rare pieces coming up for sale, as is an original Buffalo Bill’s Wild West parade flag (est. $30,000-$40,000).

“Authentic wanted posters of the Old West are extremely hard to come by. To have a genuine Frank and Jesse James poster is pretty incredible,” said Lebel. He is equally enthusiastic about the parade flag. “The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody has the only other authentic Wild West parade flag that I know of.”

An extremely rare original photo of the outlaw stagecoach robber, Black Bart, is among this year’s historic photographs at auction. Boudoir card size, and bearing the Taber photographer’s mark, this photo of “the gentleman bandit” is estimated at $30,000-$40,000. A portrait of Wyatt Earp by the artist Frederic Mizen (est. $50,000-$70,000) is perhaps the only known portrait painted of the legendary Old West gunman during his lifetime. A fresh-to-market Parker shotgun shipped to Frank Butler (est. $25,000-$35,000), and a Texas Ranger presentation badge (est. $15,000-$20,000) will also be offered.

An important Native American ledger drawing, circa 1880 and attributed to Chief White Bull, depicts the killing of Gen. George Armstrong Custer during the Battle of Little Bighorn (est. $20,000-$30,000). Many believe that White Bull, nephew of Sitting Bull, killed Custer.

The auction also features fine Western art from contemporary and deceased artists; Native American textiles, beadwork and antiquities; Molesworth and New West furniture; personal items from the likes of John Wayne and Roy Rogers; cowboy trappings and collectibles such as saddles, spurs, and bridles from such notable names as Bohlin, Garcia and Ortega.

The Denver Old West Auction will be held at 5 p.m. MDT on Saturday, June 23, in the Denver Merchandise Mart Expo Building. Catalogs are available for purchase and the auction may be previewed online or in person. Live, Internet, phone and absentee bidding options are available. The auction happens in conjunction with the Denver Old West Show, a weekend shopping event featuring over 200 dealers in fine Western merchandise. Visit the website ( or facebook page ( for details.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to


Sharpshooter Frank Butler’s Parker shotgun from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, circa 1900. Estimate: $25,000-$30,000. Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction image.    

 Rare photo of ‘gentleman bandit’ Black Bart, circa 1883. Estimate: $30,000-$40,000. Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction image.

Edward Borein watercolor, ‘Charros in Mission Courtyard.' Estimate: $60,000-$80,000. Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction image.

Authentic 1881 reward poster for outlaws Frank and Jesse James. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000. Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction image.

Ledger drawing attributed to Chief White Bull depicting the killing of Gen. Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, circa 1880. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000. Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction image.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 June 2012 14:40

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