July 31 Auction Features Wyatt Earp Guns, Dee Flagg Sculptures, W. Herbert Dunton Painting & More

  • story by Susan Kern-Fleischer
  • posted on 07/2014
  • posted in: Highline Living

Legendary lawman Wyatt Earp’s Colt pocket revolver and Marlin shotgun are among hundreds of items that will be auctioned Thursday, July 31 at J. Levine Auction & Appraisal, 10345 N. Scottsdale Rd., in Scottsdale. The high-end “Summer Quarterly Auction” also includes an historic 1884 Dodge City photo of Wyatt Earp and others bearing several famous signatures, life-size Dee Flagg sculptures of Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, Jesse James and Daniel Boone, a W. Herbert Dunton oil painting, a Diego Rivera watercolor and more. The public can preview items on Wed., July 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again starting at 4 p.m. on Thurs., July 31 before the auction begins at 6 p.m.

The auction also includes fine European art, antiques, jewelry and other collectibles from multiple estates. Josh Levine, J. Levine’s owner and auctioneer, said the Wyatt Earp guns and other items came to the auction house as a result of J. Levine’s April 17 auction, which featured several Earp family guns and memorabilia, attracting more than 6,000 bidders from 49 countries.

“Our summer auction rivals our April auction, and could be bigger considering it features such a diverse mix of rare historical items and museum-quality art and antiques,” Josh Levine said. “Interested bidders can check out our catalog online now to view the items, and if you can’t attend in person, be sure to watch as we stream the auction live on our website.” 

Items expected to cause a bidding frenzy on July 31 include Wyatt Earp’s 1877 Colt Pocket Revolver (estimated value between $40,000 and $60,000), Wyatt Earp’s 1895 Marlin Shotgun (estimated value between $50,000 and $75,000), and a Wyatt Earp Dodge City photograph circa 1884 that bears the signatures of William Matthew Tilghman Jr., Wyatt Earp, W. F. Petillon, Neal Brown, Luke Short and Bill Doolin (estimated value between $10,000 and $15,000).

Several fine art pieces are already gaining interest from bidders, including Dee Flagg life-size sculptures of Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, Jesse James and Daniel Boone with an estimated value between $30,000 and $50,000 each. Dee Flagg was a world-renowned wood carver who spent many years living and working in Scottsdale. In 2003, an antique dealer bought a broken trailer at a storage unit auction for $75, only to find it full of Flagg’s oil paintings, wood carvings, sketches and more. A living relative of Flagg’s disputed the windfall and it was determined that the two parties sell and split the proceeds. The current owner of Flagg’s collection is Gary Martinson, of Bison Homes/Bison Museum.

Art collectors will also be interested in the W. Herbert Dunton “Elk in the Aspens” painting, which has an estimated value between $200,000 and $250,000. This original 16” by 12” oil painting comes well documented with a letter of authenticity from Michael Grauer, a leading expert on Dunton’s work. One of the founding members of the Taos Society of Artists in 1915, Dunton was best known for painting the untamed West before it disappeared. His paintings have sold for as much as $800,000 and a similar painting of mule deer and does sold in 2007 in Idaho for more than $400,000. 

Since opening in Scottsdale in 2008, J. Levine Auction & Appraisal has grown from three employees to 28. Interest in auctions has increased so much, that J. Levine now hosts weekly “Thursday Nights in Scottsdale” estate auctions which feature a variety of fine art, vintage items, décor, estate jewelry, gold, silver, toys, electronics, rare artifacts and much more.

Auctions are subject to a 15 percent Buyers Premium (18 percent for Internet and phone bidders). Live online bidding can be accessed throughwww.jlevines.com or through www.Artfact.com. For information, visit www.jlevines.com or call (480) 496-2212.