Values in Western Collectibles

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog

These J.O. Bass original spurs sold on eBay for $8,700 on June 7, 2008.

I used the phrase “Go West Young Man” the other day, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. For ten years straight, Vickie and I traveled to Sheridan, Wyoming to the Eaton’s Ranch and spent a week in the beautiful Bib Horn Mountains. I recommend this ranch to anyone that wants to experience the Old West as it was.

On our first trip to the Eaton’s Ranch, we were greeted by the wife of Big Bill Eaton, and these were her instruction: “We have a working ranch here, and we serve our wranglers food three times a day. If you’re hungry, you will show up. There will be a horse assigned to you equal to your ability to ride, and it will be yours for the week. The cabin assignments are posted on the bunk house wall. By the way, there are no locks on the doors. Other than this we hope not to see you unless there is a problem.” She meant every word, and these vacations were the best that I have ever experienced. Riding over 25,000 acres of mountains and flat land is an experience that I will never feel again unless we travel to the ranch one more time. You could spend the entire day in the mountains and never see another living sole. Just Deer, Antelopes, Fox, Wild Turkey, Elk, Bison and let’s not forget a few Rattlesnakes.

Can you now see why I fell in love with the West? This is where I first saw paintings by William Gollings, Remington, Curtis and so many others and knew that I would be searching to own them for the rest of my life. If you ever stray out that way, be sure to visit the Don King Museum in Sheridan. You will never see so many saddles, bridles and ropes in your whole life again.

By now you might be asking what this all has to do with collecting. I assure you, it does. What if you run across a Hollywood Saddlery Silver and Gold mounted saddle with Walt Goldsmiths Silver and Gold breast plate? This piece could easily command $10,000 or more. Then you may run across a pair of Batwing Chaps with hundreds of nickel studs priced at $2500. Not to be out done there are the Edward H. Bohlin Sterling Silver Spurs with the engraved Gold Horseheads for $8000. Believe it or not, these are the cheaper items in these classifications. Many of the Western collectibles will run in the $100,000 category or more. Western Memorabilia has been hot for many years and it doesn’t seem to be losing its glitter any time soon.

When you combine these items with Western Art, you have the road to success opened to you. Yes, these items will be identified in the West, but how about where you live? Do you think someone on a trip back in the 1930’s or 40’s might have brought something home with them from the West? I have seen items worth tens of thousands packed away in some old trunk in the attic or basement just waiting to be found. Often the price for these items will be below $100. In fact I have already shared the story about the Indian blanket that was found that way and after being purchased for very few dollars, sold the second time for $200 and the third time for over $300,000. My hope for you is that when you buy an item, you will be the one selling it for the larger amounts because you’ll have the right knowledge necessary to recognize the true value.

Saddle Up, Buckle Up and let’s move those Lil doggies.

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