John Wayne Personal and Screen Worn Stetson Cowboy Hat (19...
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DescriptionJohn Wayne Personal and Screen Worn Stetson Cowboy Hat (1960s). Vintage original black felt, custom made Stetson XXXXX cowboy hat. Gold and silver gilt-stamped on the interior brim by the legendary hat maker, "Made by Stetson Especially for John Wayne" and "Nudies Rodeo Tailors," known to have made much of Wayne's Western-style clothing and accessories. The hat comes with a story of provenance as rich as you'd expect given Wayne's legacy. The hat originally comes from John "Bear" Hudkins who was a longtime Western stuntman and whose family provided many of the horses, wagons and props for classic Hollywood Westerns. Bear worked on several John Wayne titles and was a close friend to the actor. As the story goes, Wayne never carried cash, and on one of his famous "drinking" dinners with friends, Bear reminded "Duke" that he'd forgotten to pay up on a tab the last time they were together. Wayne responded by throwing this hat at Bear and hollering, "Take my god damned hat, it ought to be worth at least that much!" Bear intended to return the hat to Wayne, but everyone left dinner inebriated and Bear left wearing the hat, which he tossed into a closet and forgot about until he sold it to a collector in 1997. Bear also attested that the hat was worn on screen, but was unsure of which movies it appeared in, although there are a limited number in which Wayne wore a black Stetson. Exhibiting minor age, wear and light warping from storage. In vintage Very Good condition. Accompanied by an LOA from the original purchasing collector, which includes details of the hat's colorful history as well as a folder of correspondence relating to the acquisition. Also includes a limited edition copy (335/700) of "Campfires Rekindled: More Big Trail Interviews Of John Wayne's Coworkers" including an interview with Bear Hudkins (with loose and detached but present pages). Comes with a COA from Heritage Auctions.
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