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"I wouldn't think an established past would add much, either"

Really - I have seen some 'beaters' sell for astonishing amounts. Example - an old beat up Remington 1858 black powder pistol - not worth shit really - rolled up handwritten note found under grip "This pistol #XXXXX never failed me" Signed by Wm. F. Cody - he carried it durring his 'Pony Express' days.

Needless to say it sold for more than usual for a pistol of this type, in this condition. 'Established past' can mean everything to an advanced 'and deep pocketed' collector.

The trouble is in 'establishing' it for sure. WM
 

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I sure do remember the 'Jessie James' Pistols sold by the dozen. That's why establishing history is so important and difficult. That's why I like capture papers w/ serial number listed and a handwritten letter by the veteran if possible. Lots of mausers are passed off as Vet Bringbacks when in truth they were just imported by the zillion pre-1968. Very difficult to authenticale the Vet Capture of WW1 pieces. WM
 
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