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Re: Interesting auction item
Posted by John on Sunday, 23 January 2011, at 10:19 p.m., in response to Re: Interesting auction item, posted by Ernie Brandt on Sunday, 23 January 2011, at 8:54 p.m.
Prety neat as a historic item, even if sadly lacking a lot in the condition and originality departments. Also, the initial impression that it might be a huge fake to be associated with U.S. Army General George B. McClellan scared me until I saw the other inscription clarifying that it was a different George B. McClellan, likely named after the famous General.
A quick Google search shows that "Bear George" was a Wyoming rancher, who eventually served as a state Senator, and also as a hunting guide, etc. Thus placing him in a position where he may have obtained this from an Army officer (by fair means or foul). He died in 1934, and the "gift" to L.E. Francis then seems plausible. The ugly and crude brass plate which pretty well kills a lot of collectors interest seems to be just the sort of crude frontier embellishment that some rancher would add. Heck, it was his gun, and he was proud of the history and association with a (to him) famous person.
There are a lot of collectors of Western Americana who just love beat up old guns with neat "local" history and I bet this one will go high. Of course, they buy it for entirely different reasons than most of us folks here would.
Some prefer a beautiful woman, genteely raised and sequestered from exposure to sun and the elements, or even a unpleasant turn of phrase, and too timid to venture far from home without a gallant escort. Others want a bawdy wench, nearly their equal at any task, known to hold their liquor, and cuss like a sailor, able to brave the challenges of the frontier, but loyal to their man.
Some prefer the rifles that cowered in the armory with never a blemish on their finish, and others want the ones worn with history.
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