Dee Flagg's life-size sculptures of Wild West luminaries up for auction

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Life-size sculptures of Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Billy the Kid and Daniel Boone are among hundreds of items that will be auctioned Thursday at J. Levine Auction & Appraisal in Scottsdale.

The pieces are part of an amazing find after a Mesa resident bought a trailer full of junk for $75 at a storage unit auction a few years ago.

The statues were created by world-renowned wood carver Dee Flagg, who spent many years working and living in Scottsdale. Flagg died in 1999. The wood statues, which were likely made in the 1950s and are incredibly detailed, discovered in the trailer are valued at $30,000-$50,000 -- each.

"These rival Madam Tussauds Wax Museum," Josh Levine said. "They are so realistic. ... The detail is just ridiculous."

A living relative of Flagg's disputed the windfall and it was determined that the two parties sell the work and split the proceeds.

3TV's Heidi Goitia went J. Levine Auction & Appraisal to check out the items.

A free public preview will take place Wednesday and Thursday. Also in the auction are two Wyatt Earp guns, a historic Jesse James photo and a Dodge City photo bearing the signatures of Wyatt Earp and others.

Levine said more than 5,700 bidders from 61 countries are registered for the auction.

"This is a new record ... and it's early yet," he said, explaining that much of the activity happens the day before an auction.

J. Levine Auction & Appraisal
10345 N. Scottsdale Road (southeast corner of Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road)
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
480-496-2212
www.jlevines.com