Artifacts with Santa Fe and New Mexico History to Cross the Block at Million Dollar Auction in Santa Fe on June 23rd

Artifacts with Santa Fe and New Mexico History to Cross the Block at Million Dollar Auction in Santa Fe on June 23rd

Among the 290 auction lots for sale at Brian Lebel’s 29th annual Cody Old West Auction in Santa Fe, are items with Santa Fe or New Mexico history, including a Slim Green Rodeo de Santa Fe parade saddle; items from the collection of former Santo Domingo Governor Jose Reano; the original 1880s tin sign from the Lincoln Saloon; pottery by award-winning Pueblo potters; and sculpture by late Santa Fe artist, Ernest Badynski.

The 29th annual Cody Old West Auction is pleased to offer a number of auction lots with connections to historic New Mexico figures, places and artists. Approximately 290 total lots will cross the block at the live auction, including a “Rodeo de Santa Fe” parade saddle created by noted New Mexico maker, Slim Green, which is estimated to sell for between $12,000-16,000. Slim was one of the co-founders of the Rodeo de Santa Fe, and he crafted the custom leather-tooled and silver engraved showpiece in the 1950s for fellow Rodeo Board Member L.L. Langley. Complete with matching bridle and breast collar, according to Slim, he made the ensemble in exchange for “some real estate.” The live auction will be held Saturday, June 23rd beginning at 5:00 pm in the Santa Fe Community Convention Center; absentee, mobile, telephone and online bidding options are also offered. Pre-auction estimates total over $1.4 million. A preview is held on Friday and Saturday, and both the preview and auction are free and open to the public.

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Custer 7th Cavalry Revolver was Top Seller at Old West Auction

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Custer 7th Cavalry Revolver was Top Seller at Old West Auction

Custer 7th Cavalry Colt Single Action - SOLD $53,100

Custer 7th Cavalry Colt Single Action - SOLD $53,100

DENVER – Brian Lebel's Old West Auction celebrated its 25th annual sale on Saturday, June 28th, with total realized prices topping a million dollars and an impressive 93% sell-through rate. The top lot of the night was a Colt Single Action Revolver dating from Custer's 7th Cavalry, which sold for $53,100 to a floor bidder in the room. The next best-selling lot was a stunning Nez Perce horse mask that sold on the phone for $47,200. Over 400 people attended the live auction, with hundreds of registered Internet bidders and dozens more bidding on the phone and absentee. The Auction was held in conjunction with the Old West Show, which featured 200 dealers, with over 3,000 people in attendance. 

One of the auction highlights was the highly anticipated Billy the Kid CDV, which sold on the Internet for $18,150, more than twice its low estimate. Items from the estate of infamous Texas businessman Rex Cauble created a bidding frenzy, with his Cutter Bill Championship diamond and sterling belt buckle selling to a determined phone bidder for $14,160. 

Saddles were perhaps the bargain purchases of the evening, with a Bohlin Dick Dickson model realizing $23,010, which was less than its low estimate; and a Bohlin Dick Dickson Jr. model bringing $35,400, which was right at the low estimate. 

Raphael Lillywhite "North Park" - SOLD $21,240

Raphael Lillywhite "North Park" - SOLD $21,240

Fine art brought respectable prices, with a large WHD Koerner painting selling on the floor for $11,800. Both a Raphael Lillywhite and a Will James brought $21,240 each, selling on the floor and the phone respectively. 

Overall, the sale was strong, with most items selling either firmly within or above estimate. Auction owner Brian Lebel feels that the market for Western art and artifacts remains strong and continues to attract new collectors. Lebel states, "We had more new bidders register for the sale this year than we have had in many, many years." He went on to add, "Some of it is because of the Internet, of course, but no amount of exposure would matter if the material wasn't desirable and authentic." Regarding the Old West Show, Lebel said, "We had the best early buy-in and Friday attendance numbers since relocating from Cody to Denver." 

For 2015, Lebel will be moving his Old West Show & Auction from Denver to Fort Worth, with dates scheduled for June 6-7 at the Amon Carter Exhibit Hall of the Will Rogers Memorial Center. Lebel also recently purchased the High Noon Show & Auction, which will be held in Mesa, Arizona this coming January, 24-25, 2015. Details can be found at oldwestevents.com or by calling 480-779-9378.

Rare Billy the Kid 1880s CDV for Sale at Old West Auction

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1880s CDV of Billy the Kid for Sale at Old West Auction

An original, incredibly rare, cartes-de-visites of the famous image of Billy the Kid for sale by the same auction house that sold The Kid's tintype in 2011 for $2.3 million .

DENVER – Brian Lebel's Old West Auction will offer an original CDV of Billy the Kid, dating from the 1880s, at its 25th annual auction, June 28, 2014 at the Denver Mart. Though photographic historians have long suspected the existence of Billy the Kid CDVs, this is the first to come to public attention and sale. The image is the iconic picture of The Kid taken from an original tintype, one of which Lebel's auction sold for a record-breaking $2.3 million in June 2011. The presale estimate for the CDV is $8,000 - $10,000.

Billy the Kid Original CDV

Billy the Kid Original CDV

CDVs, or cartes-de-visites, were popular at the time The Kid's tintype was produced. They are small paper photographs mounted on cards that were inexpensive to make and mass produce. Photographers often took photographs of existing photos to create a CDV image, which is how the Billy the Kid CDV would have been produced. That is, it is an authentic, period reproduction of the original Kid tintype. The CDV was passed down through a New Mexico family, and shows the wear-and-tear of its 130+ years.

Though CDVs of Billy the Kid were likely mass produced, they weren't valuable in their time, which may explain why none have surfaced to date. Bob McCubbin, western photography historian and collector, said in an essay for Lebel's auction catalog, "a photo of Billy the Kid, purchased for a few cents, was not thought of as something worth saving." According to McCubbin, "to my knowledge, like the original tintype, this is the only known copy." Brian Lebel states, "I like to imagine kids in the 1880s sticking them in the spokes of their wagon wheels like I did with my baseball cards and bicycle."

The June 28th Old West Auction includes over 350 total lots of western artifacts, art and collectibles. The live sale is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. and is held in the Expo Building of the Denver Mart, Denver, Colo. Bidding can be done in-person, by phone, online or absentee, and auction catalogs are available for purchase. Details at www.denveroldwest.com or 480-779-9378.

Billy the Kid Tintype Brings $2.3 Million

Billy the Kid Tintype

Billy the Kid Tintype

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Billy the Kid Tintype Brings $2.3 Million at Record-Breaking Auction

Denver, CO -- The famous “Upham tintype” of Billy the Kid sold on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction, bringing $2.3 million including the premium. This is a record price paid at auction for an historical photograph, and is a record for any single item at Lebel’s event, now in its 22nd year. Total sales equaled $3.6 million for 444 lots, a total sales record for the auction house. An impressive 94% sales rate was realized overall.

 It took 2 1/2 minutes from the opening bid to the fall of the hammer for Billy’s tintype to sell, with 5 bidders involved to 1.2 million and 2 bidders through the final stretch, all of whom were present on the floor. The winning bidder was Florida billionaire and collector, William Koch, who graciously granted interviews, posed for photos and even signed autographs after the sale.

 A number of pieces brought well above-estimate prices, including a John Wayne Productions movie hat that sold on the telephone for $17,250, more than 10 times the low estimate. The Andy Warhol serigraph, “Mother and Child” (est. $8 -10,000), brought $18,400. Other notable pieces include the Ed Borein watercolor, “California Vaquero” which brought $138,000, a record auction price for a Borein watercolor. A Colt Single Action with provenance to the Johnson County War brought $46,000 in a heated bidding contest.

 Brian Lebel, auction owner, stated, “Across the board, prices were strong, and good pieces brought good money, as they always do. I hear people complain that no one is interested in Western art and Americana anymore. I would like to think that this past weekend proves otherwise.”

 A complete list of prices realized is available at www.denveroldwest.com. Additional details from the auction appear below.

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MORE AUCTION LOT DETAILS:

Personal belt buckles of rodeo legend Jim Shoulders sold in 3 consecutive lots for a total of $27,600 combined, with the first offered bringing an impressive $12,650.

Phone bidding was fast and furious for a unique and finely woven Navajo “cow rug” that brought $8,625 (est. $3,500 - 5,500).

The personal scrapbook of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West performer, Jordan Cottle brought $20,700 after a lively battle between bidders on the floor and the phones. Cottle’s Wild West presentation Colt Double Action was equally sought after, realizing $26,450 in another contest between the phones and the floor.

 The best line of the night was likely heard during the sale of original copies of the divorce depositions between Buffalo Bill Cody and his wife Louisa Cody. When the bidding stalled at $5,000 a ringman exclaimed, “They’re the cheapest divorce papers you’ll ever get!” They sold for $6,325.

(All prices include buyers’ premium.)