Rare Gus Goldberg "Elko Star" Spurs with Bit


Stunning California spurs marked inside the heelband, "Gus Goldberg / Sacramento, Cal / J E" for Juan Estrada. An important and sought-after pattern with a matching unmarked bit. A very important pair of spurs by a scare maker, with an even scarcer maker mark. The bands are 1 3/8" at the widest and the shank which holds the 2 1/4", 14-point rowel is 3" long. The original straps are mounted with 2 1/4" domed cut-out star conchos. The condition is spectacular with very slight signs of wear, one small piece of silver missing from the top of one 5-point star. A similar pair of spurs in this pattern are noted in “Bits & Spurs in the Vaquero Tradition” by Ned & Jody Martin on page 194: "These extremely rare spurs were made by John Estrada. The Moorish star and crescent moon motifs embellish these exquisite spurs."

The bit has the typical Estrada amazing engraving with a loose jaw spade, copper covered braces, double slobber chains and the laid-in cut-out star.

The set remains all original. The verbal history is that the whole set came from a ranch family that purchased them from the Goldberg Saddlery directly. They were pioneers to the Mother Lode region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. Circa 1921 - 1925.

Gustave Goldberg (1872-1942) / Juan Jose (John) Estrada (1865-1942)

Lot 607, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Sold $38,350.

Highly Sought After


Lot 227: Goldberg/Staunton/Estrada California Bit and Spur Set

Fabulous Gus Goldberg/M.B. Staunton/John Estrada California Bit & Spur Set. Extremely coveted double snake pattern spurs crafted by John (Juan) Estrada for Gus Goldberg. Marked inside the heal band "G. S. S. Co - Winnemucca Nev - J.E." The fully overlaid bands feature a pair of intertwined snakes, 4 small buttons and vine engraving. The shanks extend 2 1/2" and hold 20 point, 2" rowels. Double heel chains on swinging tabs. The straps are period with deep floral carving and original, high domed, engraved sterling conchos. 

The classic Santa Barbara style spade bit with distinctive precision Estrada engraving exhibits the same makers stamp on the inside of the cheek piece. John Estrada (1865-1942) began his illustrious career as a master engraver in the 1880s in San Luis Obispo before moving to Garcia's shop in Elko in the 1890s. In 1910 Estrada traveled to Winnemucca working with Gus Goldberg for the next 15 years. Estrada's work is one of the most sought artisans for the finest California bits and spurs by discerning collectors.  Excellent condition, circa 1910-1916.

Brian Lebel's High Noon Auction - January 23, 2016
Sold $40,250