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Piece of the Past Sells Only Documented Jesse James Gun in Private Hands
In approximately 1924, this weapon and a second revolver passed into the possession of a Missouri doctor named Lowery. In 1932, Stella James, wife of Jesse, Jr., filed suit against Dr. Lowery in Missouri in an attempt to get them back. However, the doctor died and the guns disappeared, and Stella eventually gave up her efforts. The pair would resurface in 1935 in the possession of U.S. Senator Harry B. Hawes of Missouri. As is laid out in an incomplete 1940 exchange of letters between Senator Hawes' representative and an agent for Henry Ford, the James family had not quite given up on recovering the two guns. Ford had probably become aware of their existence after they were exhibited as part of the Missouri State Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair and tried to obtain the guns for display at the museum he was assembling in Dearborn, Michigan but eventually gave up in his quest.
Sometime after 1940, ownership of the gun passed to another Missouri political figure, Congressman Frank W. Boykin before being sold one more to a collector and museum owner in Michigan. It was from that collector that Piece of the Past CEO Kevin Martin obtained the gun on behalf of his client. The revolver was appraised by representatives at Heritage Auctions for over $1.4 million.
Piece of the Past, Inc. CEO Kevin Martin is an established expert in the field of Entertainment autographs and memorabilia. He has spent over 30 years in the field and has written over 400 articles for various publications, and hosted the longest running autograph show in TV history, Showbiz Collectibles for six years on home shopping television. He is the editor of the Official Price Guide to Autographs and the author of 14 other books on the subject. Kevin is a court certified expert and has consulted with nearly every major United States based auction house as well as the Smithsonian Institute, and has supplied material for Hard Rock Cafe, Disney, and Planet Hollywood among others.