H.H. Heiser Presentation Display Saddle with Bohlin Silver Mountings

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Two great makers, one great saddle. Incredible Heiser floral tooled saddle with Sterling silver mountings attributed to Edward H. Bohlin. Two-toned brown tooling with bucking horse on both fenders and “AS” (or “SA”) brand. The brand is repeated in silver engraving on top of the horn. Circular “HEISER / DENVER” mark on the 14” seat. Bohlin silverwork is rope edged and engraved, with raised conchos and classic Bohlin details. Rope edge sterling cantle binding and matching gullet mounting. Initials “B.B.H” engraved on silver plate on back of cantle. Complete with an original Bohlinmade marked brown and cream corona.

Lot 573, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $20,000-25,000.

N. Chas Castillo Silver Show Saddle

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An impressive sterling silver mounted show piece with black floral tooled leather. Circular cartouche on seat, "N. CHAS CASTILLO / SADDLEMAKER / LOS ANGELES - CALIF." 14 ½” seat with 3 ½’ cantle completely covered in engraved silver. Corners decorated with 3” to 4 ¼” domed conchos. 20” tapaderos. Matching martingale with graduated silver domes, matching bridle with replaced 3-piece face plate. Crockett S-shank bit with engraved sterling overlay. Black and white corona. Includes stand.

Lot 501, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 25-26, 2019. Mesa, AZ.
Estimate $10,000-14,000.

Keyston Bros. Silver Parade Saddle Set

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Stunning, custom, engraved and impressively mounted sterling saddle ensemble by Keyston Bros., the great San Francisco maker. A full parade outfit with heavy breast collar, bridle and sterling mounted Crockett bit. All in the posse style design of 5-point stars and gold horse heads. 15 1/2" seat, full covered 4" cantle with rope edge, twisted and braided leather strings and 22" tapaderos. The leather is tooled in a fine flower and acorn pattern. Seat plate engraved "L.H. Strong". Bridle marked 14K. Listed in the 1948 Keyston catalog as Saddle #1, The Diamond "K". 

The saddle was originally custom ordered from Keyston by L.H. Strong of Salt Lake City, who later sold it to Tom Peck, who sold it to the current owner. 

Lot includes a copy of the page from the Keyston catalog, as well as a color copy of the cover of “Utah Horse” where the saddle is pictured being ridden in by the then-Governor of Utah, Scott Matheson. 
 
Collection of Jim and Jane Carpenter, Colorado.

Lot 181, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 23rd, 2018, Santa Fe, NM.
Sold $13,570

Edward H. Bohlin Child's Hexagon Parade Saddle

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Wonderful Edward H. Bohlin, black, fully floral carved child’s saddle. The Hexagon model, circa late 1940s to early 1950s, it is a perfectly proportioned silver mounted pony saddle with 2 ½” cantle, 12” seat, sterling Bohlin seat plate and Bohlinmade oval cartouche under the Indian head pelican horn. 18” tapaderos with engraved silver caps, plus 100-percent original, fully matching bridle, bit and breast collar. Includes black and white Bohlin corona. Rare and highly collectable. Includes custom saddle stand. 

Lot 180, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 23rd, 2018, Santa Fe, NM.
Sold $20,060

Slim Green Parade Saddle Ensemble with Rodeo de Santa Fe History

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A custom silver parade outfit by noted New Mexico maker, Austin "Slim" Green. Made by Slim for fellow Santa Fe Rodeo board member, L.L. Langley, “in exchange for some real estate.” The saddle and accessories are tooled with deep floral design and dark stippled background. Sterling mountings have gold horse-head motifs with rope edges throughout, including on the floral domed buttons and conchos. Quilted padded 14" seat, 3 1/2" cantle, 16" swells and 17" Visalia style monkey-nose tapaderos. The breast collar has a large central sterling plate and the bridle features a 3-piece face drop. A fine example from one of the masters.

Lot 100, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 23rd, 2018, Santa Fe, NM.
Sold $10,620

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Keyston Bros. (San Francisco) Silver Saddles

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Keyston Bros. Parade Saddle Set
A very nice sterling and gold parade saddle ensemble by Keyston Bros., of San Francisco. 5-point stars in the style of sheriff's posse mountings, with 14K gold rope and horse heads throughout the set. The matching bridle and martingale also have the same elaborate engraving and raised stars and horse heads. Diamond pattern sterling mounts over the floral tooled leather. The strings have the extra special touch of braided leather and the stirrups have parade drops. The cantle on the 14 1/4" seat has a rope edged Cheyenne roll, and the horn is 4 1/8" across and fully silver covered. Cantle plate is engraved "Howard Marks 1948". The bridle holds a fully overlaid Crockett bit.

Lot 168, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 20, 2017, Mesa, AZ.
Sold $6,655

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Keyston Bros. Sterling Parade Saddle Set
Complete parade ensemble by Keyston Bros. San Francisco. Set includes saddle, martingale and bridle with a Diablo silver bit. The fully flower-carved saddle is mounted with sterling disk conchos, 3” corners, silver covered swells, silver covered 3 1/2" cantle, and sterling mounted 22” tapaderos. Bucking horse conchos on taps, and star and diamond motifs. Engraved silver plate on back of cantle, “M.S. Hansen”. 14” seat. Maker marked. The matching bridle is complimented with gold horse heads on the scalloped conchos and face drop. The martingale has a central posse style star with horse head. Most of the mountings are original, though there are some added pieces to dress-up the set. 

Lot 87, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 20, 2017, Mesa, AZ.
Sold $5,310

Keyston Bros San Francisco, Exhibition Saddle

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Exquisite and historically significant, fully floral-carved pictorial saddle made by the renowned Keyston Bros of San Francisco. An elaborate, one-of-a-kind creation for exhibition in Keyston’s booth at the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939, a World’s Fair held on San Francisco’s Treasure Island to commemorate the city’s two new bridges and its Western legacy. 

The stunning, intricately carved, sterling silver-mounted saddle with gold horse heads, was crafted to celebrate and illustrate the history of the new frontier and particularly, California. Stories are told through exquisitely tooled two-tone raised pictorial scenes that adorn the entirety of the saddle. These include scenes of the Golden Gate Bridge, the California Missions & Father Junipero Serra, gold miners, Indians, the Pony Express, early pioneers and settlers who made the arduous trek west in their Conestoga wagons (prairie schooners), Buffalo Bill, Indians hunting buffalo on the prairie, sail boats on San Francisco Bay, drivers and passengers who traveled West by stagecoach, and the historic discovery of gold at Sutter Creek in 1848.

The saddle is truly a singular work of art that needs to be seen to truly be appreciated, which is only appropriate given that it was crafted specifically for exhibition.  It has resided in a private Southern California collection for many years. 

Accompanying the lot is the “Official Guide Book” from the Golden Gate International Exposition 1939. It lists the famous saddle maker on page 48 under the “EXHIBITS / VACATIONLAND” as “KEYSTON BROTHERS: A real ‘Trading Post’ with saddles and equipment.”   

Lot 265, Brian Lebel's Mesa Auction - January 21, 2017
Sold $115,000

Victor Alexander Parade Saddle Set with Keyston Bros. (San Francisco) Silver Mountings

Black, floral carved sterling silver mounted parade saddle with 21" long tapaderos, original black and white wool corona, 14” seat and inset sterling seat-plate stamped, “Victor Alexander - Hayward, Calif.” Saddle is heavily adorned with domed and scalloped Keyston Bros conchos in varying sizes, plus sterling swells caps and exquisitely engraved, fully silvered, heavy gauge 3 1/2" high cantle. Ensemble includes Bridle with Fleming Bit and maker-marked Keyston Bros (San Francisco) silver plus matching Breast Collar. Fine, very ridable condition, circa 1940-42.

Lot 58, Brian Lebel's Mesa Auction - January 21, 2017
Sold $22,420

Holtz Saddle Company Sterling Silver Parade Saddle Ensemble.

A very showy black, fully floral carved parade saddle with matching Bridle, Breast Collar, Serape, Hip Drops and black & white Corona. Made by the Holtz Saddle Company of Carrolltown, PA, the saddle features dramatic 23" long tapaderos and a 15 ½” brown quilted decoratively stitched brown seat. All accessories are heavily adorned with floral engraved sterling silver mountings including diamonds, squares and plates. This set would make a great acquisition for anyone looking for a visually striking sterling silver parade saddle at the fraction of the cost of a comparable Bohlin model. 
Lot 57, Brian Lebel's Mesa Auction - January 21, 2017
Sold $13,800

Karl’s of Seattle

Karl’s of Seattle was owned by Karl L. Raab who employed one of the premier silversmiths on the west coast, Don Ellis (1913-1969), to manufacture mountings for their coveted line of parade saddles. Don grew up in Seattle where he was a self-taught silversmith and engraver. During his younger years as a rodeo rider, Don created his first rodeo trophy buckle for Ellensburg, Washington rodeo events. By the 1940s he was making silver saddles as well as gold and silver buckles. In the early 1950s Don created the lavish gold and silver presentation buckles for the Rodeo Cowboy Association and completed his crowning achievement, the Wes Williams’ saddle that is on display at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Don is often referred to as the “Ed Bohlin of the Pacific Northwest” when, in fact, his exquisite style of engraving met or exceeded the best that the renowned Hollywood Saddle Maker to the Stars ever had to offer.

Lot 7: Karl’s, Washington State, Parade Saddle with Don Ellis Silver Mountings.

Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 11, 2016
Sold $4,130

Mexican General Rafael Avila Camacho (1904-1975)

Lot 114: Historic Hollywood Parade Saddle, Accessories and personal Artifacts belonging to Mexican General Rafael Avila Camacho (1904-1975)


Black floral carved silver mounted Southern California parade ensemble maker-marked Hollywood Saddlery Ltd., circa 1940, with black & white wool Corona. Includes matching Breast Collar plus Bridle and Reins with outstanding Mexican Bit. The saddle is artfully mounted with finely engraved silvered cantle, gullet and swell caps, and adorned with sterling silver diamonds bordering the fenders, skirts and tapaderos. 

Lot includes Camacho’s floral carved and monogrammed Scabbard with silver adornments; his impressive studded Mexican Chapaderos with wide initialed carved leather belt, and military insignia, plus a framed, enamel Tin Plaque commemorating his heroic military service from 1921-23. There is also one 1949 studio photograph of the General participating in a parade mounted on this very saddle and another picture showing him participating in a function when he was Governor of the state of Puebla.


Provenance: Acquired in 2014 from Carlos Moreno Vasquez who purchased the saddle and accessories directly from descendants of the Avila Camacho family that continue to reside in Teziutlan, Puebla, Mexico today. 

Brian Lebel's High Noon Auction - January 23, 2016
Sold 14,950

Exquisite Mexican Saddle

Lot 207: Elegant 1900s Mexican Saddle by Lozano

Intricately detailed light brown 1900s Mexican Saddle with long saddle bags artfully designed with a scalloped border and adorned with a combination of deep floral carving; lavish two-tone pitiado (yucca fiber) with a Greek Key border design framing an embroidered grape-vine pattern with grape clusters cleverly fabricated from fine silver threads. Silver mountings include a figural repousse flat horn, maker stamped “E ROMAN / MEXICO”, repousse adornments on the fork, swell and gullet, plus heavy gauge slotted silver conchos and lavish stirrups. Highly detailed silver repousse stirrups. The cowhide seat cover was added many years ago but is not original to the rawhide seat and should be removable. Excellent overall condition including original cinch. Marked: TALABARTERIA DAVID LOZANO CALLE DE ZULETA / MEXICO / 589. / 4=8=1904.

Provenance: Acquired by German Industrialist Hans Koch (1893-1945) in Mexico around 1900. Koch was a member of the “Cowboy Club of Munich” established in 1913 and a passionate collector of American antiques. Koch was also a lawyer, State Commissar of the Berlin Stock Exchange and a member of the German resistance against the Nazis.

Brian Lebel's High Noon Auction - January 23, 2016
Sold $16,520

Mexican President Porfirio Diaz's Saddle

Lot 203: Important Mexican Saddle made for Porfirio Diaz

Classic late 19th - early 20th century Mexican saddle with matching saddle bags, custom made for President Porfirio Diaz. Featuring traditional period Charro styling with partially exposed rawhide tree, trimmed with repousse floral patterned silver ornamentation on the oversized horn, upper gullet and cantle edge. Mounted with multiple silver inlaid slotted conchos with original latigo strings, plus ornate stirrups and period cinch with silver inlaid cinch rings. The saddle is regally adorned with natural piteado fiber embroidered in elegant and intricate patterns appropriate to Diaz’s position.  A noteworthy and historic Mexican presidential saddle manufactured during a most fascinating and tumultuous transitional period in Mexico’s evolution to modernity, the saddle was made by Porfirio Diaz's personal saddle maker between 1890-1912. It is well maker-marked under both the saddle bags and under the seat as follows: FUSTES FINOS / DE / MADERA GARANDZADA / Z. LOPEZ / ESPECIAL MENTE PARA TALABARTERIA / DE / SOSTENES TAPIA / PORFIRIO DIAZ No 6. / PUEBLA. Leather is stamped TALABARTERIA.DE.SOSTENES.TAPIA.CALLE.DE. / PORFIRIO.DIAZ.N6.PUEBLA.

Brian Lebel's High Noon Auction - January 23, 2016
Sold $13,800

Provenance: Private collection of Enrique Guerra; to artist Tom Lovell; to present owner.
Porfirio Diaz (1830-1915)

José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori was a Mexican soldier, military hero, and politician, who served seven terms as President of Mexico; a total of three and a half decades from 1876 and 1911. Diaz perhaps qualifies as one of Mexico's most controversial statesmen since he is frequently remembered as being one of the country's most notorious dictators yet ironically, his record includes significant accomplishments including bringing Mexico into the modern age while his country achieved financial solvency during his extended reign.

Early Silver Saddle

Lot 99: Moreno Santa Barbara Parade Saddle with Field Silver

Impressive, important and 100% original, circa 1890s-1910, J.A. Moreno, Santa Barbara, maker-marked Parade Saddle, with matching Bridle, attached to an early Field family Spade Bit, silver ferruled Reins, Breast Collar, and original Corona. Saddle is adorned with heavy gauge Edwin and John Field sterling silver and is believed to be the only saddle of its type ever made by Jacobo A. Moreno, a much-respected armorer and saddle maker who was born in Ventura, California in March, of 1857. Moreno was raised in Los Angeles but moved to Santa Barbara in the early 1870s where he was employed as a saddler by a number of firms between 1875 and 1904 including Francisco Moreno (his older brother), J. J. Eddleman, J M Forbes and his father, Juan Bautista Moreno. In Santa Barbara young Moreno would find legions of men on horseback who possessed the ego and the means to indulge themselves in the kind of masterworks that he could create.

The fully floral carved saddle's construction features an extremely narrow fork and high cantle, both trimmed in Field sterling silver. The saddle is adorned with ornate silver corner plates on the jockey and skirts, and includes a period carpeted corona with silver spots and scalloped Field conchos. The saddle is visually stunning in that it is fully covered with period Field family conchos in an array of sizes and shapes extending from the top of the horn to the tip of the tapaderos, and includes a heavily embellished matching Bridle, Breast Collar, and Reins with fancy ferrules plus a fabulous very early Field Santa Barbara Spade bit.

The saddle is reminiscent of the Dixie Thompson Loomis saddle owned by San Francisco deYoung Museum that set a world record for a Santa Barbara saddle last summer when it sold for close to $200,000 in Brian Lebel’s Fort Worth Old West Auction.

Brian Lebel's High Noon Auction - January 23, 2016
Sold 46,000