Dan Hardesty was destined to own a museum, one way or another. His recognition of antiques as important historical objects began at the tender age of six. A mere three years later, at age nine, Dan precociously purchased his first collectible â€“ a cowboy holster. It was a milestone moment for the youngster â€“ one that, unwittingly, would set him on the path to becoming the indomitable force he is today in the field of Old West material.
Dan is no one-trick pony when it comes to antiques in general. There are few categories that he doesnâ€™t know something about. His early interests, Dan recalled, included â€œgood lamps and music boxes â€“ the type Morphyâ€™s sells.â€ In time, he added antique guns and Western and Civil War memorabilia to the list of objects that filled his house, wall to wall and floor to ceiling. When his collections outgrew the available space in which to display them at his home, Dan took decisive action and purchased a three-story brick building in Franklin, Pa., which formerly had been used as an armory. Investing substantial amounts of time and money, Dan set about achieving his vision of creating a museum where he could showcase and share his collections. In 1984, he opened the doors to a wonderland of Americana, his now-legendary Wild West Museum.Â
The warren-like rooms in Danâ€™s one of a kind historical attraction took the visitor on a visual journey through the wild and woolly landscape of how the West was won. Nowhere else could you see such a comprehensive array of relics â€“ including saddles, firearms, military uniforms and Native-American artifacts â€“ or sub-collections focused on Buffalo Bill and other 19th-century personalities; 101 Ranch and similar 19th-century frontier entertainment troupes.
Morphyâ€™s is honored to present the incomparable Dan Hardesty Wild West Museum Collection at auction, October 31 and November 1-2, 2014. The three-day event is chock-full of rarities, some of which may only become available for purchase once in a collectorâ€™s lifetime.
Approximately 3,000 pieces will be auctioned, with the Sunday session devoted entirely to a remarkable 800-lot selection of antique guns, rifles and other weapons, some owned by famous figures of the Old West. Special highlights: two factory-engraved â€™66 Winchester .44 caliber rifles, Buffalo Billâ€™s handgun, Geronimoâ€™s knife, and a pistol that belonged to Doc Hollidayâ€™s companion â€œBig Nose Kate.â€
Additionally, the lineup includes:
â€¢ Hundreds of Indian artifacts, beaded objects, baskets, pipes, arrowheads
â€¢ Buffalo Billâ€™s original jacket + Wild West Show posters, banners, photos & mementos
â€¢ Outfits and memorabilia from famous frontier-show performers
â€¢ Fabulous saddles, including four Civil War officersâ€™ saddles, a saddle signed by Tom Mix and another adorned with 1920s silver dollars
â€¢ Military uniforms from the Civil War through Spanish-American War
â€¢ Western bronzes, including original Remingtons
â€¢ Paintings of Indian chiefs
We hope youâ€™ll join us for the Oct. 31-Nov. 2 auction of Dan Hardestyâ€™s extraordinary collection. If you canâ€™t attend in person, donâ€™t forget that you can still take part by phone, online or as an absentee bidder. We look forward to hosting this important event and hope to welcome you at the auction.
Morphy Auctions is one of the largest under-roof auction houses in the country, spanning over 45,000 sq. ft. The beautiful building is customized to meet the growing and changing needs of the antiques industry.