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Old West lawmen and notorious outlaws meet at RR Auction

Memorabilia relating to one of the Old West’s most famous lawmen, and two of America’s most notorious outlaws, are up for sale at RR Auction next month.

Amongst the leading highlights is a pocket watch owned by the famous Dodge City lawman Bat Masterson.

Masterson’s remarkable life saw him start put as a buffalo hunter, U.S Army scout and gun-slinging sheriff in Dodge City, Kansas, before becoming a respected boxing expert and nationally-known New York newspaper columnist.

The Elgin pocket watch bears the inscription “To W. B. Bat Masterson, from the Citizens of Ford Co.”, and was presented to him for his services as Sheriff.

Contemporary newspaper reports show that in 1885, towards the end of his time in Kansas, Masterson was voted the ‘most popular man in Dodge City’ at a fourth of July event and presented with a gold watch chain and a walking cane. The watch was possibly another honour bestowed upon him before he left his lawman days behind him and set off for a new chapter of his life in Denver.

As a personal artefact owned by one of the most colourful American figures of the late 19th-early 20th centuries, the pocket watch is expected to sell for more than $15,000.

From lawmen to the lawless, the sale will also feature some intriguing pieces relating to the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde.

Most notable is a set of seven circa 1930s original sepia candid snapshots of the Barrow gang, featuring Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker, Joe Palmer, Henry Methvin and Raymond Hamilton. These unseen original photographs, which depict the gang as apparently carefree during their cross-country crime wave, are expected to sell for $2,000+.

The sale will also offer an original 1930s hand-painted wooden sign from the collection of Charles Stanley that accompanied his touring exhibition of the Bonnie and Clyde ‘Death Car’.

The couple’s bullet-riddled car was a popular attraction after they were killed during an ambush by Louisiana law officials in May 1934, and visited fairgrounds across the U.S. The sign, which uses a famous image of Bonnie Parker taken from a snapshot found in their hideout, is valued at $1,000.

Bidding in the online sale ends on July 13.

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