James, Jesse – American Outlaw

Jesse Woodson James, American Outlaw

Courtesy of James Julia Auction Company, presented in conjunction with the sale of Jesse James’ personal Colt revolver and holster rig (p4A item # D9737835)

Jesse Woodson James was born Sept. 5, 1847 in Clay County, Missouri. He had an older brother, Frank and a sister. His father, a minister, left soon after Jesse was born to go to California to “minister” to the 49er miners. He died in [...] Click here to continue reading.

Wild Bill Hickok (James Butler Hickock)

James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok

Unlike the Hollywood nice guy from 1950′s television, the real Wild Bill Hickok was a born killer and compulsive gambler.

Between his birth as James Butler Hickok in 1837 and his 1876 death, Hickok defined the fiercely independent Wild West peacekeeper that never stayed long in one place. Raised to anti-slavery parents in Illinois, Hickok developed a strong sense of loyalty and duty that lasted his entire life. [...] Click here to continue reading.

Chief Sitting Bull – Sioux – Tatanka-Iyotanka

Sitting Bull, Sioux Chief (circa 1831 to 1890)

Sitting Bull, the man who would later become the Hunkpapa Sioux chief, was born in South Dakota, near the Grand River. His Lakota name was Tatanka-Iyotanka. In his thirties, he began to build his reputation as a warrior, leading war parties in Red Cloud’s War against a number of Dakota Territory forts. Although the U.S. negotiated with the Sioux in order to end the war and [...] Click here to continue reading.

Buffalo Bill Cody

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody

The year 1883 neatly divides William Cody’s former life as a hunter, scout and guide from his later career as a showman. He was 37 in this year of transition.

The early life of William Frederick Cody (1846 to 1917) was colorful, adventurous and, thanks to Dime novels, exaggerated. He fought for the Union Army in the Civil War at 18. By 21, he earned his lifelong nickname [...] Click here to continue reading.

Apocryphal – definition

Apocryphal – Definition

Apocryphal, the adjective form, means “of doubtful authenticity,” according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Apocrypha, the noun form, means “writings or statements of dubious authenticity,” again according to Merriam-Webster.

Apocrypha is actually a Greek word that means something closer to “obscure” or “hidden away.” The original meaning of the word, the Apocrypha in the proper noun sense, refers to religious texts outside of the traditional or accepted religious canon. Through connection with [...] Click here to continue reading.

Miro, Joan – Spanish Artist

Joan Miro (Spanish, 1893-1983) Joan Miro lithograph, Signes Et Meteores, printed in colors, 1958, p4A item E8972489

Joan Miro was born in Barcelona, Spain, on April 20, 1893, the son of a watchmaker. From 1912 he studied at the Barcelona Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Gali. In the first quarter of the 20th century, Barcelona was a cosmopolitan, intellectual city with a craving for the new in art, music, and literature. But, it [...] Click here to continue reading.

Semans, Mary Duke Biddle Trent – Brunk Provenance Note 8-2013

Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans (1920 to 2012)

An American heiress and philanthropist, Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans was the great-granddaughter of tobacco industrialist and Duke University benefactor Washington Duke. She was born Mary Duke Biddle on February 21, 1920 to Mary Lillian Duke and Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Jr. Her father was the former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and Spain.

Semans was raised in Manhattan, where she attended the Hewitt School in New [...] Click here to continue reading.

Catherine de Medici, Queen of France

Catherine de Medici (1519 to 1589)

Born to wealthy parents, Caterina de’ Medici (1519 to 1589) was orphaned within the first month of life. Although her father was of common origins, her mother was from an ancient French noble family, so a number of European royal families were interested in arranging a marriage with her, and the decision was up to Pope Clement VII, Giulio de’ Medici. Although James V of Scotland thought he [...] Click here to continue reading.

Mosby, John Singleton (1833 to 1916)

John Singleton Mosby (1833 to 1916)

John Singleton Mosby (1833 to 1916) enlisted in a Virginia cavalry unit at the outbreak of the Civil War. He and one other in his unit were ready to re-enlist at the end of their year of service. He was head of his regiment for only two months, but long enough to get the attention of J.E.B. Stuart. Stuart invited him to serve as a scout, and throughout [...] Click here to continue reading.

General and Mrs. Tom Thumb (Charles S. Stratton)

General & Mrs Tom Thumb

The legendary Phineas T. Barnum was introduced to the diminutive Charles Stratton (1838 to 1883) in Bridgeport, Connecticut at the Franklin House, which his half-brother managed. From that point on Stratton was destined to become the toast of 19th century American as well as continental Europe. Stratton was granted audiences with Queen Victoria, more than one U.S. President and countless dignitaries. By mid-19th century he was truly the most [...] Click here to continue reading.

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