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The Robb Report on Saddle Collecting

Robb Report August 2011 CoverThe Robb Report  
on Saddle Collecting

Smoke Signals urges you to pick up the August 2011 copy of the Robb Report Collection (Red Lamborghini on cover). See pages 60-68 for Karen Cakebread's wonderful article on saddle collecting, entitled "A Wild Western Ride - from the auction block to the ranch, high-end saddles remain in high demand." Thanks goes out to Karen for her insightful glimpse into collecting Western Americana, both antique and contemporary. High Noon gets a nod!

Antiques and the Arts Weekly 8-27-10

High Noon & Christie’s Lasso $2.9 Million for Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Collection

NEW YORK CITY- The July 14-15 sale of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum Collection was 100 percent sold by High Noon Western Americana, in association with Christie’s, and realized $2.9 million. The auction included more than 300 iconic lots for the “King of the Cowboys” and “Queen of the West”.

This historic sale featured unprecedented prices for a diverse array of Western Americana, such as the 1963 Pontiac Bonneville for $254,500 the Nellybelle jeep at $116,500 and a variety of hats and boots and costumes made by Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors. Trigger, likely the most famous horse in world, sold for an astounding $266,500, and the Edward H. Bohlin saddle designed for Trigger Jr. reined in more than $240,000. Overall, these pieces of American history brought between two and up to ten times their estimate.

Linda Kohn and Joseph Sherwood of High Noon Western Americana said, “ We were thrilled that the collection has found its way into homes of Roy and Dale fans around the world, ensuring that their legacy continues. The highlight of the week was the saleroom’s spontaneous round of “Happy Trails” sung at the conclusion of the auction. Even the original hand drawn music and lyrics to this famous song sold for $27,500.

Cathy Elkies, director of iconic collections, said, “This highly anticipated event brought out thousands of Roy and Dale fans whose emotions and memories flooded our galleries. We were privileged to handle a collection that resonated so deeply wit so many people”.

Prices reported include buyer’s premium. For information, or 310-202-9010

Antiques and the Arts Weekly article

Antiques and the Arts Weekly 12-31-10

High Noon’s Native American Auction & Show Jan. 29 & 30

MESA, ARIZ. — High Noon Western Americana Auction of Los Angeles will conduct its January 29–30 Western Americana Weekend Event at the Phoenix Marriott Mesa Hotel and Convention Center, kicking off its yearlong celebration of the cultural and historic influences American Indian tribes have had on the United States. High Noon is committed to ensuring that Native American culture continues to thrive.

To that end, more than 150 of the nation’s finest exhibitors, featuring the best in historic to contemporary Western Americana, will fill the exhibit halls. The richness of the West will be exemplified in the fine selection of antique cowboy, Native American and Vaquero art and artifacts on view. On the contemporary side, shoppers can indulge in original creations from some of the country’s top artisans in leather and silver — from clothing to furniture. On January 29, an auction will feature important pieces of the history and heritage of the Sioux, Plateau, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Blackfoot and other tribes. Among the highlights in this category is a plateau pony beaded dress, circa 1860, in fine condition ($40/80,000). Other high flyers are expected to be a Sioux man’s beaded shirt, circa 1880 ($50/100,000); a wonderful Cheyenne beaded baby carrier, circa 1880 ($25/50,000); and an enchanting Sioux quilled elk dreamer dress ($30/50,000).

American Indian will not be the only category with important lots: an important collection of bronzes will also be offered. Works by Joe Beeler, John Coleman, Harry Jackson and Bill Nebeker, among others, will draw national bidding. Beeler’s signed bronze on wood base, “Crazy Horse” ($15/25,000), and “Keokuk Sac and Fox Chief,” a signed bronze in wood base by John Coleman ($6/8,000), are expected to attract much bidding. Western American fine art offerings will also be highlighted by Will James’s “Wild Horses,” an important signed oil on board ($50/100,000). Several historic saddles will be offered, with three Edward H. Bohlin saddles at the top of this category: a Machris model parade saddle ($35/60,000), a Taxin model parade ensemble ($40/60,000) and a Bohlin Dick Dickson Jr saddle ($25/50,000).

Furthering exceptional works from Bohlin will be oneof- a-kind pieces from the car of a Southern California, Yucca Valley, personality. From the mounted longhorns on the front, to the engraved Colt knobs, handles, saddlebags and the silver saddle center console, the Bohlin works of art that comprised this vehicle will all be sold as separate lots.

The auction will begin at 5 pm, Saturday in the ballroom of the Phoenix Marriott Mesa Hotel, 200 North Centennial Way. Previews are Thursday, January 27, 3 to 7 pm; Friday, 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday, 9 am to 4:30 pm.

For information, 310-202- 9010 or

Antiques and the Arts Weekly article

Antique Trader - 2006

Fine art joins the parade of wild and woolly Western offerings at High Noon

By Karla Klein Albertson for Antique Trader

The glory days of roundups and riding the range are long past, but the market for the Old West items and gear used by the working cowboy has never been stronger. An annual highlight in the field is the High Noon Western Americana Show & Auction, held Jan. 22-23 in Phoenix.

The High Noon outfit – run by co-founders Joseph Sherwood and Linda Kohn, and Danny Verrier, an expert in American Indian antiquities and Western fine art – is based in Los Angeles, but Arizona has proved a perfect location for the reunionlike gathering that draws experts and collectors from around the world.

“Arizona really identifies with the Old West,” Kohn said.

In 2005, the event moved to the Phoenix Civic Plaza, allowing the show segment to include 300 dealers selling $50 vintage braided cowboy quirts to $50,000 chief’s blankets. Saturday’s auction was held in the nearby Hyatt Regency Hotel.

“It becomes a whole-weekend event,” said Kohn. “People come Thursday and leave Sunday night or Monday. They haven’t seen each other for a year. We have seminars; they have parties. There is so much going on.”

The focus at High Noon has evolved over the event’s 15-year run.

“When we started out, we were just doing hard-core cowboy – saddles, bits, spurs,” Sherwood said. “It was all very brown and silver. Then we started mixing in more color with the posters and the Native American material.”

“The cowboy material seems to be running out, literally. It’s harder and harder to find. So we were especially pleased that we are doing more with American Indian and Western Art. The Olaf Wieghorst painting The Lead Horse, estimated at $25,000 to $50,000, brought $75,600. So that, for us, is a real coup, because that’s a market we’d like to get into.”

Sherwood also pointed out Emil Lender’s Days of Yore, which sold for $22,400 (estimated at $6,000 to $9,000).

“Lenders fell in love with the whole legacy of the West and spent a lot of time at the 101 Ranch in Ponca City, Okla.,” Sherwood said.

Another colorful tale involves Ashley David Cooper, who painted a reminder of life’s futility – a series of skulls wearing the hats of pirate, king, Indian chief, and others – described by Sherwood as “like the Village People after a long night.” The San Jose, Calif., artist spent most of his time in saloons, often paying the tab by painting a nude for the bar. His “day-of-the-dead” oil painting brought $11,200 on a $2,500 to $3,500 estimate.

Cowboy gear, such as spurs, boots, bridles, and 10-gallon Stetson hats, remain the auction staple.

Silver-studded parade saddles are stars of the show. No saddle maker was more famous than Edward H. Bohlin of Hollywood, who produced some great gear during the Depression. A rare Bohlin 1930s youth saddle decorated with California poppy conchos and accompanied by matching headstall, reins, breast collar, corona, and bit sold for $95,200 – which far exceeded its $40,000 to $60,000 estimate. A gold belt buckle Bohlin made with his own initials, “E B,” brought $29,120, more than triple its presale estimate.

James Nottage, author of Saddlemaker to the Stars: The Leather and Silver Art of Edward H. Bohlin (1996), wrote pertinent catalog entries for this year’s sale.

“In the course of his career, Ed Bohlin created nearly a hundred different models of saddles withcolorful names such as the Fiesta, the Pasadena, the Mariposa, and many others,” wrote Nottage. “In the midst of the Great Depression, and having survived his own bankruptcy, Bohlin’s operation reached its height and his products were owned and used by everyday cowboys as well as the leaders of Hollywood, society, and business.”

Also on hand for the event was Western scholar Byron Price, who signed his beautifully illustrated book Fine Art of the West (Abbeville Press, 2004). Price has impeccable credentials: His father was a working cowboy and then went into the Western wear and saddlery business in 1955.

“Then I got in the museum business and was director of the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City – or the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, as it’s known now – as well as the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo., both of which had wonderful collections of Western memorabilia,” Price said.

Currently director of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Price realized the need for a serious volume and began his research.

“This book is focused on the material culture and gear of the cowboy – both real and imagined,” he said. As such, the volume is a resource for beginning or experienced collectors.

“There’s so much more to be done in the material culture end of things,” Price said. “I canted this book toward the aesthetics of this material because I don’t think many people even know about that aspect, much less bother to understand the origins of the decorative motifs.”

The book is divided into sections dealing with different sorts of gear, including metalwork such as bits and spurs, boots and hats, and saddles. He documents sources for the elaborate designs used by saddlemakers, tracing them back through Spain to Morocco and North Africa, noting “Once you start connecting the dots, you find out that all horsemen are brothers.”

To illustrate Price’s points, the book includes some of the best saddle photographs ever published as well as historical photos. For example, master leather worker G.S. Garcia of Santa Margarita, Calif., is shown next to one of his fine saddles in an image from the 1880s. Garcia went on to win a Gold Medal at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition.

Readers might be surprised to see Philadelphia featured in a Western book, but Price said , “John B. Stetson really created that whole Western hat ‘thing.’ He was a marketing genius and a very shrewd business man who saw a niche and filled it.”

Stetson shipped free samples to retailers, and his Boss of the Plains hat caught on.

The entrepreneur had to build a larger factory to meet the demand. His hats were well made, of the finest materials – beaver and other furs – and had a broader brim to better shed water on the trail. Cowboys added individuality with a special crease in the crown or a fancy hat band.

A Tom Mix-style beaver Stetson brought $2,240 at this year’s sale.

“The Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles has a wonderful collection of trade literature related to Western memorabilia,” Price said, for collectors interested in doing some research. “They also have the papers of Edward Bohlin, who was one of the leading lights in silver parade saddle production.”

[Note that the Autry Museum of Western Heritage is now known as the Museum of the American West.]

“The pieces that have the most creativity and interesting designs always seem to win over the pieces that are merely historical,” Price said about auction results. “Middling parade saddles will go for about 10 times as much as a really fantastic historical piece that didn’t have a great design.”

It would appear collectors have elevated cowboy trappings from utilitarian gear to an expressive art form.

Most people’s image of the cowboy, of course, has been principally shaped by Westerns on television and at the movies. High Noon does a brisk business in costumes and gear associated with famous screen portrayals of the hard working cowpoke.

“This is about the third year in a row that we’ve hit a home run with the celebrity guns,” Sherwood said. “Baby boomers have such a nostalgia for everything from the age of 20th-century Westerns.”

Two shotguns and a derringer from John Wayne’s 1971 movie BIG JAKE sold for $27,440 (estimated at $6,000 to $9,000). And who could resist Marlon Brando’s revolver and rifle from ONE-EYED JACKS (1961), which brought $7,280 or Steve McQueen’s TOM HORN (1980) rifle at $7,840? Both were estimated at $3,000 to $5,000.

“This may have been our best all-around sale ever,” Sherwood said. “Our gross was higher the year we sold the Roy Rogers saddle, because that piece alone brought $1 million, but in terms of just general strength, this is probably the best sale we’ve ever had – and the broadest in terms of fine art, American Indian, cowboy, just the whole mix.”


High Noon’s past catalogs with prices realized make excellent references for collectors.

Fine Art of the West by B. Byron Price (Abbeville Press, 2004) is a beautifully illustrated and well-researched reference for historians and collectors.

Saddlemakers to the Stars: The Leather and Silver Art of Edward H. Bohlin (University of Washington Press, 1997) by James Nottage offers a detailed look at the man that helped outfit such film heroes and horses as Hopalong Cassidy and Topper, Roy Rogers and Trigger, the Lone Ranger and Silver, and the Cisco Kid and Diablo.

More books on Western memorabilia are available from Gibbs Smith at (800) 748-5439 or

Reprints of the 1938 Visalia Stock Saddle Co. and the 1942 Hamley Cowboy Clothing and Gear catalogs are available from Dover Publications, 31 E. 2nd St., Mineola, MY 11501-3852,

Extensive collections of Western memorabilia can be found at the Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, (323) 667-2000,; and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma  City, (405) 478-2250,


Brydon Brothers “Peacock” saddle, circa 1910 - $39,200
Custom G.S. Garcia spurs, Elko, Nev., circa 1900 - $20,160
Edward H. Bohlin’s personal gold belt buckle - $29,120
Horsehair quirt by Alfredo Campos - $8,120
Mexican saddle with silver snakes, 1886 - $22,400
Mechanical cowboy window display, Baranger Studio, 1950 - $17,920
Navajo red mesa rug, circa 1910 - $11,200
Nez Perce man’s pictorial beaded vest with American Flags - $24,640
Robert Redford’s “NUDIES” western suit and boots worn in THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN, 1971 - $10,080
Three guns used by Lorne Green, Michael Landon, and Dan Blocker in BONANZA - $24,640
WINNING A BRIDE poster, 1919, Universal Studio’s Western - $3,920
Yakima beaded cowboy gauntlets from the Barney Sofro Collection (shown) - $3,690

(All prices include 12 percent buyer’s premium.)

Article provide with permission by High Noon LA, Inc. • (310) 202-9010

Arizona Republic - 2002

Roy Rogers items sell for $412,000

The Arizona Republic
Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Roy Rogers items sell for $412,000

MESA- The sterling silver, gold-and-ruby-studded saddle prized by cowboy movie star Roy Rogers, sold together with a harness set for $412,000 at auction late Saturday at a Western collectors show in Mesa.

An anonymous bidder rode away with the 1931 saddle, bridle and martingale owned by the “King of the Cowboys” after spirited bidding among 30 collectors, event organizers said.

Another anonymous telephone bidder spent $187,000 for his classic chaps and gauntlets, and a third collector paid $61,000 for Rogers’ silver spurs and boot tops.

“There were a lot of people who wanted these items,” said Danny Verrier, a collector who helped with the Mesa event.

“These things are one-of-a-kind pieces and people knew that right away and wanted them for their own.”

In all, 30 pieces from the Rogers collection were sold during the High Noon auction and show.

Other Wild West memorabilia also up for grabs included Tom Mix’s Stetson hat that sold for $2,750, Rex Allen’s engraved Colt .45-caliber revolver for $6,050, John Wayne’s jacket from True Grit for $11,000 and Gary Cooper’s pants from the movie Dallas for $440

Article provide with permission by High Noon LA, Inc.
(310) 202-9010


High Noon makes "News" in EquiWest - Le magazine du Cheval Aventure

High Noon Western Americana Show & Auction - Des ventes de pieces exceptionnelles.

EquiWest article

Persimmon Hill - Winter 2009

Ortega Book Debuts at High Noon

Luis Ortega’s Rawhide Artistry: Braiding in the California TraditionThe National Cowboy Museum announces the release of Luis Ortega’s Rawhide Artistry: Braiding in the California Tradition. The seventh volume in The Western Legacies Series will debut January 30-31, 2010, at High Noon Auction in Mesa, Arizona. Authors Chuck Stormes, a saddlemaker with Traditional Cowboy Art Association and Don Reeves, the Museum McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture, will be signing copies of the book at High Noon.

Stormes and Reeves delve into the life of acclaimed rawhide braider Luis Ortega, whose craftsmanship elevated his work to collectible art and his talent has influenced generations of braiders. The lavishly illustrated, 160-page volume contains more than 100 photographs, 70 in color and many offering close-ups showcasing the intricacy of Ortega’s reins, quirts and other pieces. Readers will find the book a comprehensive overview of Ortega’s life, art and career documenting five decades of braiding. Writing the forward is Mehl Lawson, renowned horseman, rawhide braider and Prix de West artist.

Luis Ortega’s Rawhide Artistry: Braiding in the California Tradition is available in hard cover for $55 or $29 softbound. The book is available for purchase online, by phone or at the Museum Store. For more information call (405) 478-2250 Ext. 268.

Shop Talk - September 2010

Shop Talk Septemer 2010 coverThe Sale of the Roy Rogers Museum Collection

by Nick Pernokas,
Southwest Media Coordinator

This article appeared in the September 2010 issue of Shop Talk! Magazine 
P.O.Box 497
Belgrade, ME 04917

Click Here to download pdf of full story

Wall Street Journal - September 2010

High Noon Western Americana
Roy Rogers’ best pal, Trigger, whom he had stuffed in 1965

Wall Street Journal September 2010When Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph of Austria accepted Mexico’s offer to become its emperor in 1864, his arrival in the war-torn country caused much rejoicing. To celebrate his reign, the people of Mexico, who believed a monarchy would restore order after years of civil war, presented Maximilian with a magnificent silver-filigreed saddle with an enormous, ornate horn and Maximilian’s monogram stitched in silver thread into its long leather skirts. Sadly, things pretty much went downhill from there.

Maximilian was executed just three years later by Benito Juárez, and his “People’s Saddle” landed in the hands of a Jesuit priest, one of Maximilian’s closest advisers, who in turn gave it to Dr. Julius Augustus Skilton, a Juárez supporter and eventual U.S. consul to Mexico. The saddle remained in the Skilton family and was not seen publicly after the turn of the 20th century until it came up for auction at the High Noon Western Americana Antique Show and Auction in Mesa, Ariz., in January.

Saddle collector Gerald J. Ford, who, as chairman and CEO of Golden State Bancorp, engineered the company’s sale to Citigroup for $5.8 billion in 2002, saw it in the auction catalog and was captivated. After looking into Maximilian’s history, he decided “if an individual was going to own that saddle, it was going to be me.” His winning bid of $230,000 (not including auction premium) sealed the deal. “It’s the most fascinating saddle that has ever come to market,” says Ford, now a private investor with a net worth Forbes says is just north of a billion dollars. “It should be in a Mexican museum, not in my house.”

Ford has around 15 saddles that he keeps at his ranch in Picachio, N.M., although the People’s Saddle is currently on display in his home in Dallas. His collection includes a championship saddle with silver trim ridden in the 1911 Pendleton Round-up in Oregon and a 1914 saddle previously owned by a woman who was dumped shortly after the purchase by her rodeo-rider boyfriend. She never even opened the saddle’s shipping container.

Page 1 of wall street journal story

Ford and collectors like him, a small but acquisitive group, are drawn to vintage saddles because of the stories, adventures, people and animals they represent from a cherished time gone by. Saddles also symbolize man’s enduring bond with the horse, says Kelly Klein, a longtime equestrienne. “They are an iconic, powerful animal. They represent everything that is strong.”

The horse’s association with strength and history has driven a major resurgence of equine iconography of late, especially in the fashion world, where several old designer houses have rediscovered their horsey roots. Hermès and Gucci launched equestrian-inspired lines this spring and are hosting equestrian events. Horse images and related tack are popping up in stores, advertising campaigns and logos all over the world, as well as in the lines of designers such as Chloé, Stella McCartney and Dior. But saddle collectors can honestly say they were there first, with some having been at it for decades. And while the newfound appreciation for horse-related items may help grow that community, values for vintage Western saddles, especially, have been appreciating on their own these past 10 years.

In 2002, the saddle market was stunned when a jeweled McCabe saddle owned by famous TV cowboy Roy Rogers (who had bought it for its exceptional looks) fetched $412,000 at the annual High Noon auction. It stands as the highest price ever paid for a saddle at auction in the U.S. After that record-breaking sale, top prices slipped to the $95,000 range, but then rose steadily until 2008, when the recession hit. This year, prices have returned with a vengeance, starting with the Maximilian sale, which had the title of the second most expensive Western saddle ever sold at auction until July, when an individual new to saddle collecting paid $386,500 for the intricately carved Edward Bohlin silver parade saddle Rogers wore on his horse, Trigger. (The Christie’s/High Noon auction of items from the shuttered Roy Rogers–Dale Evans museum included his taxidermied horse and dog Bullet.)

Still, the average cost of vintage Western (which includes Native American and Mexican) saddles on the private and auction markets, where most casual collectors report paying between $3,000 and $8,000, can hardly compete with prices fetched by other museum-quality collectibles, fine art, or even photographs of people wearing saddles. (The photo of a model provocatively wearing the iconic Hermès saddle from Helmut Newton’s “Saddle Series,” shot for Vogue Hommes in 1976, went for over $150,000 at auction at Christie’s in 2008.) But when vintage Western saddles do approach Newtonian prices, it’s usually an outstanding history or provenance that gets them there, says Linda Kohn Sherwood, a co-owner of High Noon. The Maximilian and Rogers saddles “had aesthetics and history that were very strong. History drove the prices up. It was stunning.” Saddles by respected makers like Bohlin, Main & Winchester, Brydon Brothers and Visalia also regularly fetch over $100,000 at auction.

Saddle collecting extends to vintage Japanese, African, Russian, Caucasian, English, European and Middle Eastern saddles as well. However, these collectors tend to acquire saddles as part of a larger art collection devoted to a particular area or geography. And these types can command significantly higher prices than the Maximilian saddle if they become available for sale. (A golden saddle from early 13th-century Central Asia currently in the private Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art in London, for instance, would be highly coveted at auction.) But according to Dr. Noël Adams, administrator of the Furusiyya Art Foundation’s collection of Islamic arms and armor in London, these extremely rare artifacts almost never come on the market, and when they do, they are usually purchased by museums instead of collectors.

In contrast, vintage Japanese kura, or saddles that are little more than a wooden frame, frequently come to auction, says Jeff Olson, specialist in Japanese Arts for Bonhams in New York, and are usually purchased by collectors who are interested in Asian art collectibles, not just saddles. A lacquered 17th-century kura with stirrups brought in $72,000 in a Christie’s auction in New York in 2006. (The high end of the opening estimate was $8,000.)

Alain Eon, a museum consultant who lives south of Paris, owns more than 60 vintage Western saddles. He is also a renowned saddle restorer whose passion for the saddle was born on a ranch in Wyoming where he spent time in 1969 when he was 23. Today, his greatest pleasure is restoring these saddles to their original luster, a tribute, he says, to the craftsmanship of the original saddle makers. In 2000, Eon lent five of his saddles to Hermès, which began its life making equestrian accoutrements, for an exhibit at the opening of the luxury company’s Houston store.

Though they can cost up to $10,000 new, Hermès saddles tend to be used for riding rather than collected, according to Klein, who has long ridden on them (her ex-husband, designer Calvin Klein, bought one at a charity auction for $50,000). Despite the utilitarian nature of the Hermès saddle, Emile-Maurice Hermès, grandson of the company’s founder, was an avid vintage saddle collector and the Hermès Museum in Paris, filled with his finds, is considered one of the finest collections of vintage saddles in the world.

Several high-end auction houses have Western memorabilia sales scheduled for this fall and winter, and a January 2011 High Noon auction is expected to have two Bohlins on the block, with estimates ranging from $50,000 to $90,000. Kohn Sherwood expects prices for iconic and historic saddles to keep rising as long as the stories they carry continue to be captivating. But there’s no predicting whether the record will be shattered any time soon. “You never know when a saddle like the Maximilian or McCabe will surface,” Kohn Sherwood says, “or who’s out there and how much they value the saddle’s provenance as well as its beauty.”

The High Noon Western Americana auction and antique show will be held January 29–30, 2011, in Mesa, Ariz.

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Click to view article online

Western Art Collector - January 2010

Still Ridin’ High

Items from the silver screen, Old West, vaqueros, Native Americans and cowboys and cowgirls headline the 20th annual High Noon Western Americana Show and Auction

For two days, the Old West thrives at High Noon. One of the most popular Western Americana events in the country, the High Noon Western Americana Show and Auction will be held this year at the newly renovated Mesa Convention Center in Mesa, Arizona.

“People are excited about the show,” says Linda Kohn Sherwood, co-owner of High Noon. “It’s uplifting to know that no matter how much or how little they will have to spend, that they are looking forward to spending time together as a Western
heritage community.”

Over 150 dealers and exhibitors featuring the finest in historic and contemporary Western Americana will fill the exhibit halls. The richness of the West will be exemplified in the fine selection of antique cowboy, Native American and vaquero art and artifacts. On the contemporary side, visitors can peruse and purchase original creations from some of the country’s top artisans in leather and silver, from clothing to furniture.

“This is our 20th year,” says Sherwood, “I cannot believe that we have dealers that have been with our show all 20 years. Our country has gone through so many changes in that time but the zeal and passion for Western Americana has remained strong.”

In addition to the exhibition, High Noon also presents its popular Western Americana Auction held on Saturday, January 30, at 5 p.m. in the ballroom of the adjacent Mesa Marriott Hotel. Each year this event brings to the block over 400 lots from historic collections and individual pieces, and is the bedrock of the weekend. The High Noon Auction gives collectors the opportunity to bid on and buy exquisite items from American history, such as Bohlin parade saddles, Hollywood memorabilia from John Wayne to Roy Rogers, and also Western fine art.

A highly anticipated lot hitting the block is one of only two known documented saddles belonging to Emperor Maximilian (1832-1867). Known as the “People’s Saddle,” it was presented to Emperor Maximilian by the People of Mexico during his Imperial reign from 1864 through 1867. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $100/150,000.

“One of High Noon’s goals is to keep history alive, and to be able to offer the Maximilian saddle (the last emperor of Mexico) is a privilege,” says Sherwood. “It may be one of the most important saddles to come to market in the last quarter of the century.”

An additional exciting collection includes four lots belonging to none other than the “King of the Cowboys” himself, Roy Rogers. The first in this collection will be Rogers’ personal Edward H. Bohlin silver mounted Gun Rig, made for him by the legendary Hollywood Saddlemaker to the Stars in 1942 and used extensively by Rogers in movies, TV and public appearances (estimate $20/$30,000). The second offering will be Rogers’ personal Edward H. Bohlin, Hollywood, full-mounted parade spurs on a pair of his custom-made “Eagle” boots (estimate $20/$30,000 for booth). The third lot will be Rogers’ personal Edward H. Bohlin sterling-silver mounted Parade saddle with matching Bridle and Breast Collar with Rogers’ name engraved on both the seat plate and back of the cantle (estimate $50/$100,000). The final offering will be Rogers’ Tournament of Roses one-of-a-kind saddle featuring 10 dozen roses overlaid on gleaming white plastic and edged in deep blue.

The saddle, bridle and martingale were designed and created by William B. Vandegrift, president of the All-Western Plastics Company of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, who received the inspiration on learning that Roy and Trigger were to lead the famous Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on January 1, 1952 (estimate $20/30,000).

“High Noon is honored to help the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans Museum spread the beauty, memories and artifacts inside its walls out into the hearts and homes of people all over the world,” says Sherwood. “We will be offering a great representation of what is in the museum on January 30 in Mesa, with the rest of the magnificent pieces waiting to be sold in July 14 through 15 in conjunction with Christie’s in New York.”

Other highlights for the auction include a Olaf Wieghorst painting (estimate $25/$35,000), a child’s beaded moccasin collection (estimate $5/7000), J. Tapia full-mounted spurs (estimate $30/40,000), Edward H bohlin Machris chaps (estimate $7/10,000), and artifacts from popular silver screen heroes, in addition to Rogers, like Gene Autry and Monte Hale.

Western Art Collector - January 2011

cover of Western Art Collector January 2011 Story Saddle Up

Western Americana thrives in Mesa, Arizona, as the High Noon Western Americana show and auction rides into town.






Western Art Collector January 2011 Story page 1

Western Art Collector January 2011 Story page 2

Western Art Collector - April 2011

Western Art Collector Magazine cover April 2011True Grit

High Noon sales exceed $.2.1 million, including $21,850 for the vest, shirt and scarf worn by John Wayne in the original production of True Grit.

>>Download PDF to read full story

Western Horseman - 2007

Western Horseman highlights the 2007 auction

This 1880s Main & Winchester saddle was the high-selling lot at the 17th Annual High Noon Western Americana Auction

Western Horseman article

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