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We just got back from seeing the exhibition "Recapturing the West" at the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Fl. I've been a student of Western history all of my life & I have never seen such a display. The collection belongs to William Koch;he is responsible for the exhibition. Loosely divided into 4 groupings-Indians & the US Military, Lawmen & Badmen with a side of Bordello & Saloon history, Mining & Cowboys.I couldn't list any significant amount of what we saw but how about Colt SAA serial number 1, a cased set of a Colt Dragoon & a Walker revolver presented by Samuel Colt to Capt. Walker in 1847, the S&W Model 3 used by Robert Ford to shoot Jesse James,
Wyatt Earp's Sharps rifle & Model 3, a Winchester 1 of 100 M 1873 & a 1 of 1000 M 1876, 2 Hawken rifles, the entire series of Colt revolvers from Patterson to M 1889, a Bridgeport rig & Meanea, Frazier, Gallup & Collins gun leather & the finest collection of original Frederic Remington & Charles Russell paintings & sculptures you could imagine.Last year Koch bought the only authenticated ferrotype photograph of William Bonney for 2.3 Million-it was displayed in the exhibition. Sitting Bull's breast plate worn at the battle of Little Big Horn, a lock of George Custer's hair & his camp chair,a playing card signed by John Wesley Hardin-I could go on & on.The exhibit was originally scheduled to close tomorrow but has been extended to April 29. If there is any way to see it,please do-you'll be astounded.
Regards,
turnerriver
 

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Is this something that will be moving around and exhibiting at other cities and states?? Sounds very interesting.
 

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Sounds like a great exhibition. Would love to see it. If I had his billions$$$ I'd be vying for the same one of the kind western items. I'd like to think I'd be willing to share like he is with the exhibition instead of hoarding them away.
 

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I don't know if the exhibition will be shown elsewhere; for now the curator mentioned it was going back to Koch's Palm Beach estate as " he likes having the collection around him". He is currently assembling a Western town on his Colorado ranch- maybe the collection will end up there. Regards,turnerriver
 

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It is indeed an astounding collection. Just goes to show what a collector can accomplish if he has a billion dollars in his wallet. Here is a link to some photos of the exhibit. Unfortunately, it does not include one of the wall of Colts that are part of the exhibit but it does give you some of the flavor. Highly recommended.

Recapturing the West: The Collection of William I. Koch « Fine Art Notebook

Regards,
Charlie Flick
 
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