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John Wesley Hardin Rare Signed Playing Card with Bullet Hole

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Directory: Traditional Collectibles: Ephemera: Pre 1900: Item # 1429110

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5526 W. 13400 S. Suite 436
Herriman, UT 84096

Guest Book
A Jack of Hearts playing card shot through the heart, signed J.W. Hardin in the bottom right hand margin and for Mr. Ford in the bottom left hand margin along with 3 words I cannot read. The handful of other known examples, estimated to be between 6-17 appear to be from the same deck. The gunslinger was part owner of the bar and gambling venue and he reportedly signed these cards for patrons as a souvenir of a shooting demonstration he put on for the Fourth of July. John Wesley Hardin (1853-1895) was one of Texas' most notorious killers, admitting in his own autobiography to the murder of 27 men (others credit him with killing as many as 40). On August 19, 1895, he was shot in the back of the head by John Selman, standing at R.B. Stephen's "Acme Bar" in El Paso. It is 2 1/2" X 3 1/2". It is in fine condition and has beautiful patina. One sold at Christie's Auctions for $5520 on 12-19-1998, one sold by Cowan's Auctions on 11-18-2016 for $8260 and one is currently for sale by Heritage Auctions for $17,874. I purchased it at a Wild West Antique show in 1984 in Denver. The 5th picture is a side by side comparison of Hardin's signature on this card to the signature of the card sold at Live Auctioneers on June 10, 2010. This sale is for the card only and the items in the last picture are props and are not included. It is a fantastic memento of the Old West.

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