The pistol with which vigilante sheriff Pat Garrett killed the young gunman Billy the Kid (Billy El Niño) in New Mexico in 1881 will be auctioned on August 27 and is expected to fetch a price of between 2 and 3 million dollars, The auction house Bonhams reported this Thursday on its website.
The gun, a 7 1/2 caliber Colt made in 1880 and considered by Bonhams “an iconic piece of early Western history”, it belonged to Garrett, the man of law and order who, after a long persecution, tracked down and located Billy El Niño on a ranch in Fort Summer, New Mexico. ) and shot him dead.
It is the “most important and desired Western firearm known, as well as one of the best documented, and it had never appeared in a public auction before “, highlights the auctioneer.
The legendary Billy El Niño, who died at age 21, he was wanted in Arizona and New Mexico for the deaths of eight men in that violent 19th century West.
Owned by a Texas couple
The gun, In very good condition, It comes from the private collection of a Texas couple, Jim and Theresa Earle, who amassed firearms and other artifacts for nearly half a century and whose family has now decided to auction it off.
Other valuable items up for auction include a double-barreled shotgun that Billy El Niño used when he escaped of a court in New Mexico and the contract that Sheriff Garrett signed for the book he wrote about the gunman, one of the characters that has generated the most film legend.
“Now part of American mythology, Garrett’s friendship with ‘Kid’, their mutual respect and their subsequent hunt, capture, flight and death they have become a legend “, emphasizes Bonhams.
The Billy El Niño story has been the source of pop culture, music and literature for more than a century, with such iconic films as Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973), by Sam Peckinpah, Fr. Young Guns (1988; Young weapon, in Spain), by Geoff Murphy and Christopher Cain.