David Mann (b. 1948)

Lot 260, David Mann, Midnight at the Spring, Oil on canvas, 22” x 28”. Sold $2,420.

Lot 260, David Mann, Midnight at the Spring, Oil on canvas, 22” x 28”. Sold $2,420.

Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.

Lot 261, David Mann, Untitled: Mountain Man, Oil on board, 14" x 11". Sold $1,180.

Lot 261, David Mann, Untitled: Mountain Man, Oil on board, 14" x 11". Sold $1,180.

Fred Harman (1902 - 1982)

Fine works by Harman; from Red Ryder to the American West.
Auction date: June 10, 2017.

Lot 168, Fred Harman, "Burning Hair and Sweat", Oil on canvas, 20" x 30". Sold 4,840

Lot 168, Fred Harman, "Burning Hair and Sweat", Oil on canvas, 20" x 30".
Sold 4,840

Lot 164, Fred Harman, Red Ryder Illustration, Watercolor & ink, 12 1/2" x 21" Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett. Sold $5,015

Lot 164, Fred Harman, Red Ryder Illustration, Watercolor & ink, 12 1/2" x 21"
Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett.
Sold $5,015

Lot 169, Fred Harman, The Pride of Texas, Oil on canvas, 24" x 36".  Literature: The Cowboy in Art, by Ed Ainsworth, pictured on page 132. Book included. The Great West in Paintings,  by Fred Harman, 1969, pictured on page 140. Fred Harman. Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett. Sold $2,360

Lot 169, Fred Harman, The Pride of Texas, Oil on canvas, 24" x 36". 
Literature: The Cowboy in Art, by Ed Ainsworth, pictured on page 132. Book included.
The Great West in Paintings,  by Fred Harman, 1969, pictured on page 140. Fred Harman.
Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett.
Sold $2,360

Remington 1861 with Bob Younger History

A rare Remington Model 1861, (Eliot's Patent) Navy Percussion Revolver with Possible Younger Brothers History. Includes Bob Younger cabinet card. 

S/N 15395, 7 3/8" barrel, shipped 1862; known as the "Old Model Navy". A very interesting revolver with field repair and notable Remington factory features. The barrel bears the correct 2-line Beals Patent address. The trigger guard is brass and is mounted with 2-piece walnut grips. 

The cylinder pin of this particular model was unusual for a Remington percussion revolver in that the pin is not retained by the loading lever but instead is allowed to slide in a groove between loading lever and barrel. This was Eliot’s design, with the idea of a more rapid reloading. The design was faulty however, and Remington quickly designed a “screw fix” for the problem. This particular revolver was not outfitted with this Remington retrofit, but rather was “field repaired,” which would likely have been accomplished by a gunsmith. It has been suggested that it is this repair that Younger refers to in the account, “The Story of Cole Younger.”

Inside the left grip is scratched, "B YOUNGER / 1867 / L.S. Mo." Inside the right grip is scratched with the date "1867" and "Lee Sumit Mo." [sic] Included in the lot is a handwritten and signed letter from Charles B. Layson dated 1/13/1997, on his letterhead, that reads: “The Remington “Beals” Navy .36 revolver, serial # 15395 that I recently sold to Ted Bell, was purchased by me from an individual that came to our store with several family guns to sell, on or about July 15, 1996. Not until our gunsmith removed the grips while cleaning the gun, did he see the marking, BOB YOUNGER 1867. The seller had not mentioned this marking, and apparently had no knowledge of its existence.” 

Also included is a letter summarizing a scientific analysis of the grips performed by McCrone Associates, Inc. dated June of 2000. The letter details the results of the analysis, but ultimately cannot ascribe a date to them, or the interior grip inscription. It does, however, seem to indicate that the inscription had been there for at least some period of time.

The lot is accompanied by a period lithograph cabinet card of Bob Younger.

Lot 258, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.
Sold $6,490

Stunning Edward H. Bohlin Texas Sesquicentennial Spurs

Created in the mid-1980s by then-owner of the Bohlin Company, Danny Lang, this striking and impressive pair of one-of-a-kind, double-mounted, intricately engraved parade spurs overlaid in sterling and three-color 18K gold, was designed to celebrate the 1986 Texas Sesquicentennial. The pair has the trademark cookie-cutter rowels inset with engraved sterling washers, jinglebobs secured by silver spots, and four upturned buttons mounted with gold hearts. The off-side features raised gold longhorns and trumpets “TEXAS” down the shank, while the front is adorned with a bold and golden, heavy gauge 5-pointed star, the Sesquicentennial dates of “1836-1986” and Danny Lang’s “DL” initials. The fully floral tooled, laced and lined black two-piece spur straps are decorated with sterling stars and feature 3-piece engraved silver buckle sets. Outstanding, unused condition.
PICTURED: Page 41 of the 1980s, #15 Edward H. Bohlin Company Catalog
EX: Harry Hudson Collection.

Lot 97, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.
Sold $17,700.

Bob Boone "Brazos" Spurs

A well-known and highly sought-after pair of Bob Boone “Brazos” spurs, these exciting Texas spurs are featured on the cover of “Cowboy Spurs and Their Makers” by Jane Pattie. The silver plate on the band is engraved “BRAZOS”, with silver overlaid buttons on the iron side. Crescent moons and 10-point rowels. The chasing and file work is some of Boone’s best. Circa 1940s.

EX: O.R. Huff Collection; 
EX: Bill and Marilyn Lenox Collection.

Literature: Pictured cover and page 77 of “Cowboy Spurs and Their Makers” by Jane Pattie.

Lot 323, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.
Sold $41,300.

R.F. Tackabery Mother Hubbard Saddle

Extremely rare Mother Hubbard style saddle by very scarce Texas maker, Tackabery. Marked in several places with large clear oval cartouche, "R. F. TACKABERY / MAKER / FT. WORTH TEX." All the pieces are here but the fenders; the saddle needs restoration but is worth the effort. An important piece of Texas history.

Robert F. Tackabery was one of the early pioneering Texans to open a saddle shop in Fort Worth, Texas as early as the 1850s.

Lot 162, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.
Sold $7080.

Buckles, Buckles, Buckles!

The June 10, 2017 auction has a stunning array of Bohlin and Hudson buckles. Men's, women's, trophy buckles, ranger sets...we've got you covered!

Lot 72: Edward H. Bohlin "Snuff" Buckle Set, Sold $826. Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett.

Lot 72: Edward H. Bohlin "Snuff" Buckle Set, Sold $826.
Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett.

Lot 78: Edward H. Bohlin Bighorn Sheep Trophy Buckle, Sold $4,720 EX: Harry Hudson Collection.

Lot 78: Edward H. Bohlin Bighorn Sheep Trophy Buckle, Sold $4,720
EX: Harry Hudson Collection.

Lot 82: Edward H. Bohlin Fancy "SG" Buckle with Belt, Sold $2,920. Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett.

Lot 82: Edward H. Bohlin Fancy "SG" Buckle with Belt, Sold $2,920.
Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett.

Lot 88: Edward H. Bohlin Silver and Jeweled Buckle Set, Sold $7,670 EX: Harry Hudson Collection

Lot 88: Edward H. Bohlin Silver and Jeweled Buckle Set, Sold $7,670
EX: Harry Hudson Collection

Lot 87: 14K & 18K Bohlin Buckle Set with Extras, Sold $3,835. Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett

Lot 87: 14K & 18K Bohlin Buckle Set with Extras, Sold $3,835.
Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett

Lot 73: Edward H. Bohlin Cheyenne 3-piece Buckle Set with Two Belts, Sold $944. Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett.

Lot 73: Edward H. Bohlin Cheyenne 3-piece Buckle Set with Two Belts, Sold $944.
Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett.

Lot 83: Bohlinmade, Hollywood "Snuff" Buckle on Alligator Belt, Sold $1,180. Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett.

Lot 83: Bohlinmade, Hollywood "Snuff" Buckle on Alligator Belt, Sold $1,180.
Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett.

Lot 85: 18K Gold Filigreed Buckle by the Distinguished Hudson Silver of Dallas, Texas, est. $10,000-14,000 EX: Harry Hudson Collection.

Lot 85: 18K Gold Filigreed Buckle by the Distinguished Hudson Silver of Dallas, Texas, est. $10,000-14,000
EX: Harry Hudson Collection.

Lot 86: 18K Gold Edward H. Bohlin Buckle Set with Rubies, and Exotic Belts with Extra Tips, Sold $3,835. Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett

Lot 86: 18K Gold Edward H. Bohlin Buckle Set with Rubies, and Exotic Belts with Extra Tips, Sold $3,835.
Provenance: From the Estate of Snuff Garrett

Pictorial Lakota Beaded Coat

A fine European-cut, Lakota beaded coat on native tanned hide with horse motif. Five pair of colorful beaded horses: blue and red on front, and white, burgundy, and yellow & blue on verso. Great beading details, such as single bead eyes and colored ears. Five beaded pair of horseshoe tracks adorn the front, in shades of green, purple and blue. Heavily fringed and accented with a beaded diagonal design of yellow, red and aqua blue. Long leather drops hang from the pony tracks and the back. Wonderfully visual and unique. 29” long with fringe; circa early 20th century.

EX: Bill and Marilyn Lenox Collection.

Lot 242, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.
Sold $5,900

Impressive Tom Qualey (1904-1977) Grangeville, Idaho Spurs

An exceptionally fine, intricate and pristine pair of silver overlaid and inlaid double-mounted spurs by the renowned Grangeville, Idaho, master spur maker. With Tom’s signature maker-mark “Qualey” distinctly scribed into both bands, the breathtaking pair is built with a double-buttoned Cheyenne style split heelband, central high domes, barrel chap guards, and marvelous 30-point, 2 1/2" polished rowels. Fully floral carved russet color two-piece leathers with silver buckles are affixed via 2” scalloped and engraved sterling conchos.  Undeniably, one of the finest representative pair of Tom Qualey’s work that we have seen in quite a while. For a similar pattern, see Page 257 of “Bit and Spur Makers in the Vaquero Tradition,” by Ned and Jody Martin. 

EX: Bill and Marilyn Lenox Collection.

Lot 289, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.
Sold $11,800.

16th Century Spanish Mano Figa Ring Bit

Very early, important Spanish ring bit with Texas history. Possibly of Conquistador vintage, and in an exceedingly scarce configuration. Mano figas hang from the wide, 1 3/8” chin bar and the ring flat; the cast cheeks have a scroll design. 3 7/8" mouthpiece with high port (missing roller). It is a striking and unique artifact of the "Age of Discovery" in North America.
 
Accompanying the bit is a copy of a letter relating to the discovery of the bit by Harold Gage Thompson, contemporarily related and signed by Cecilia Thompson in 2005 (transcribed below). Also included are 2006 research/study photographs identifying the bit and describing its features on the reverse.
 
Mano figa (also fica or higa), translates to “fig hand” and is an ancient symbol or talisman that dates back to Etruscan Italy, but spread to other countries and cultures. It is most usually considered an obscene gesture, and is worn to ward off bad luck or the evil eye. The horse that wore this bit appears to have been well-protected, as more than twenty mano figa hang from the piece.
 
EX: Harry Hudson Collection.

Lot 199, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.
Sold $8,470.

Large Navajo Pictorial Weaving

Wonderfully colorful and masterfully executed Navajo pictorial with Corn Yei at center. All native hand-spun yarns with a variety of natural and aniline dyes. Great pictorial elements, including six birds, two deer, bow and arrows, feathers and two cows (one with either "T A" or "A T" on his side, depending on which side of the rug you're looking at!), with a Teec Nos Pos border. Great color and condition. Circa 1930s, 96" x 66 1/2".
EX: Bill and Marilyn Lenox Collection.

Lot 128, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.
Sold $12,980.

Sharps Buffalo Rifle

S/N C45530 (matching on barrel), .45 x 2 7/8 .45 caliber, (marked Calibre) “Meacham” conversion of a percussion Sharps rifle. 1 ½ inches across the muzzle, 30 inch octagon barrel, military style stock, double set trigger, “Old Reliable” on barrel, Lawrence rear sight, copper blade front sight, circa late 1870s. Weighs 17 pounds. Condition:  bore is excellent, plum brown barrel, frame has 20% silvered case colors, small filled area in checkering on left wrist, small chips in fore arm, excellent mechanically.

Lot 140, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.
Sold $8,260.

After the dissolution of the Sharps Rifle Co, The E. C. Meacham & Co, seeing a ready market, produced a number of rifles using surplus U.S. Sharps actions converted to center fire, and parts from the Sharps Company.

Alfred Jacob Miller (1810 - 1874)

Beating a Retreat
Watercolor & gouache
8" x 12" 
Signed lower left: A Miller
An early Thomas Nygard Gallery label verso
Framed to 19" x 23" 

EX: Bill and Marilyn Lenox Collection.

Lot 179, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 10, 2017, Fort Worth.
Sold $141,600.

Note: Title plate on frame incorrectly identifies this painting as 384C. Though clearly a version of catalog number 384, the “C” painting is a watercolor held in the collection of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD (Miller’s birthplace).

Alfred Jacob Miller (1810 – 1874)
“In the early part of the Nineteenth Century, fur traders, Indians, pioneers, and adventurers who journeyed west of the Mississippi experienced a raw and rugged world now mostly forgotten. We are fortunate, however, that those experiences were captured vividly on canvas by the American artist Alfred Jacob Miller, who ventured west to the American Rocky Mountains in 1837. Miller painted what he saw on that trip, and his firsthand works provide a window into a life and time long gone but essential to the very nature of what it is to be American.” -- Excerpted from alfredjacobmiller.com

Although not always famous, Alfred Jacob Miller is now heralded as one of the finest painters of the far American West. In 1837, Miller was commissioned by Captain William Drummond Stewart, an eccentric adventurer and former British military officer, to accompany Stewart as an art recorder on a trip to the American Fur Company Rendezvous near the Wind River Mountains. Miller’s sketches on this trip became the studies for many dozens of future oil and watercolor paintings, most of them commissions. Miller’s commissions were in the form of new works based on his existing studies, and a result, there are numerous Miller paintings, in both oil and watercolor, with similar subject matter and similar or identical names.

This painting is known alternately as, “Beating a Retreat”, “War Ground”, or “Indians Beating a
Retreat”. There appear to be five other known color versions of the work in museum collections, and one version recorded in Miller’s record book that remains unlocated, but is noted as “oval.” When compared with the images available of the five museum held works, we feel this watercolor version most closely resembles the two oil paintings held by the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, and the Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa, painted between 1863 and 1865. 

In Miller’s notes that accompany his original studies, he writes of the image of “Beating a
Retreat”

"Although this Sioux Indian has an immense range of his own to hunt over, he is not content with it, and we find him here on the grounds of the Blackfeet. The latter from a bluff have discovered the marauder, and are discharging their arrows at him and in a rage because they are not nearer to secure his scalp.”

Exceptionally Rare Indian Used Custer Battlefield 1874 Sharps Rifle

The First Firearm Forensically Proven to have been used at Custer’s Last Stand


In 1883, seven years after the resounding defeat of Custer and his 7th Cavalry near the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory, a rancher by the name of Willis Spear collected a number of artifacts while passing through the battlefield site with his family; a visit he recorded in his diary. This Sharps rifle, serial number C54586, was among the items he removed. It would remain in the Spear family for over a century.

In August 1983, more than 100 years after what is among the most famous battles fought on American soil, a grassfire raged across the plains of the Custer Battlefield National Monument. This fire, having denuded the land of its thick grassy vegetation, paved the way for an archaeological study that would exponentially further our knowledge of that fateful battle. 

In the Spring of 1984, with funding from the Custer Battlefield Museum and Historical Association, and support from the National Park Service, an intensive archaeological survey and excavation was conducted, in which thousands of artifacts were recovered and recorded, over 2,000 of which were battle-related ammunition artifacts such as cartridges, casings and the like. Using modern day archaeological, forensic and ballistic techniques, the investigators were able to determine hundreds of individual weapons of differing makes and models used at the battle, the locations of their use, and even track the movement of individual weapons across the battlefield. 

The ability to use forensics and ballistics to identify cartridges and casings was so compelling, the next logical step was to see if the casings themselves could be specifically matched to any of the “known” Custer Battlefield firearms. Harmon and Scott write in their 1988 “Man at Arms” article, “The comparison process was very slow since it literally required us to look at hundreds of cases, and compare each against the evidence case. Incredible as it may seem, we did find a match between a .50-70 evidence case and an archaeological specimen .50-70 case.” 

The article goes on to state, “The archaeological specimen was found southeast of Lt. James Calhoun’s position… There is no doubt this location is an Indian position… The archaeological specimen also matched another archaeological specimen found on Greasy Grass Ridge, southwest of the Calhoun position… This archaeological evidence indicates this particular .50-70 firearm was used in two different Indian positions during the fighting around Calhoun Hill.”

The .50-70 in question is Sharps serial number C54586, the Spear family’s rifle. Shipped new from the Sharps factory in 1875, it still exists today as a genuine, Indian-used artifact from the most infamous battle of the American West. 

Lot 269, Brian Lebel's Mesa Auction - January 21, 2017
Sold $258,750

S/N C54586, .50-70 caliber, 1874 military model Sharps, 30 inch round barrel, full military style stock and forearm, standard Lawrence barrel sight, manufactured in Hartford, Connecticut in 1874.

Condition:  Consistent with a rifle that was exposed to the dry, arid weather of the Montana prairie.  Some legible markings, wood is dry with a few cracks, tang is cracked at top screw, metal shows surface oxidation overall but no deep pitting, action still operates.

Literature:
“Sharps Rifles at the Little Big Horn: Part Two” by Dave Thorn, pp. 18-20, pictured p. 20, in “The Sharps Collector Report” Volume 18, Number 2.

“Archaeological Insights into the Custer Battle: An assessment of the 1984 Field Season” by Douglas D. Scott and Richard A. Fox, Jr., 1987, page 62.

“A Sharps Rifle From the Battle of The Little Bighorn”, by Dick Harmon and Douglas D. Scott, pp. 12-15, pictured p. 13, in “Guns at the Little Bighorn: The Weapons of Custer’s Last Stand”, Man at Arms, 1988.

“The Peacemakers: Arms and Adventure in the American West”, by R. L. Wilson, 1992, page 24, pictured pp. 24-25.

“G.A. Custer: His Life and Times” by Glenwood Swanson, 2004, page 295, pictured pp. 294-295.

The following items are all included in the lot:
Binder: Includes: computer CDs and DVDs of scans, photos and images of the forensic evidence collected on the Battlefield, including scans from the National Park Archives and the Nebraska Highway Patrol Forensics Lab; a rare Martin primed shell in .50-70 caliber for illustrative purposes; Letter to Glen Swanson from Douglas Scott and Dick Harmon; Affidavit from Torrey Johnson, descendant of the Spear family, attesting to the chain of ownership through the family; Sharps Rifle Company gun letter; and other related ephemera.

Book: “Archaeological Insights into the Custer Battle: An assessment of the 1984 Field Season” by Douglas D. Scott and Richard A. Fox, Jr., 1987. Complete with pull-out, double-sided, 31” x 42” survey map of the archeological identification points of artifacts.

Book: “The Peacemakers: Arms and Adventure in the American West”, by R. L. Wilson, 1992.

Book: “G.A. Custer: His Life and Times” by Glenwood Swanson, 2004. Signed by the author.

Original Publication: “The Sharps Collector Report”, Volume 18, Number 2.

Original Publication:  “Guns at the Little Bighorn: The Weapons of Custer’s Last Stand”, Man at Arms, 1988.

Edward Borein (1872 - 1945)

Mustang Round-Up
Watercolor
9" x 13" 
Signed lower right: EDWARD BOREIN
Framed to 18" x 22"
Accompanied by Harold Davidson letter.

Provenance: To current owner from Steven Rose and Biltmore Galleries; From Mr Lee Dohaniuk of Anchorage, Alaska; From Mr. Dohaniuk's parents; From Edward Borein. Letter from Steven Rose included.

Exhibitions: "Ed Borein: The Real Thing", Bradford Brinton Memorial, May 15 - September 7 1992, pictured on front cover of exhibition catalog (copy included); "Coloring the West: Watercolor and Oils by Edward Borein", Santa Barbara Historical Museum, October 24, 2007 - February 17, 2008; Desert Caballeros Museum, Collectors of the West Celebrate 50 years, January 23 - March 14 2010.

Lot 217, Brian Lebel's Mesa Auction - January 21, 2017
Sold $51,750