Doc Holliday’s Derringer Sold for $84,000
Russ Chastain 03.14.17
Ever heard of Doc Holliday?
If you haven’t, I’m sad for you; he’s one of the most well-known figures of the American old west. And the town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado is banking on that fact–literally.
The Glenwood Springs Historical Society has reportedly borrowed a whopping $84 thousand bucks and used it to purchase one of Doc’s firearms, a Remington .41 caliber double-barrel derringer that was presented to him as a gift by Big Nose Kate, his Hungarian-born common-law wife (and prostitute).
The back strap of the gun’s grip frame is engraved, “To Doc from Kate” and it’s believed to have been in the hotel room where Doc Holliday spent his final days and eventually died, in the Hotel Glenwood of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
The gun was owned by Jason Brierley of Vancouver, British Columbia, who visited the Frontier Historical Museum in Glenwood Springs. Some months later, he offered the gun for sale to the historical society, and the rest is now history.
After satisfying themselves of its authenticity, the society purchased the diminutive popper.
Had it gone to auction, the purchase price would likely have been higher.
It’s one of several Holliday items to have sold in recent years, including a flask, which went for $130,000, and a shotgun believed to have been Holliday’s, which sold for $200,000.
The derringer was accepted as partial payment for Holliday’s funeral in 1887 and it remained with that family until 1968. Since then it was sold once in the 1980s, then to Brierly in July 2016, and finally to its current owners.
The gun is currently in safe storage, but will eventually become part of an exhibit at the Frontier Museum in Glenwood Springs.