RAPID CITY, SD ... Some
lucky folks got a taste of the west recently... the old west that
is. The smell of well-oiled leather, the jingling of spurs, and
a one-of-a-kind selection of Casey Tibbs memorabilia greeted a standing
room only crowd at the fifth annual Cowboy Heritage collectables
auction held Saturday, February 6th at the Rushmore Plaza Civic
Center in Rapid City, SD. Hosted by the Black Hills Stock Show Foundation,
this annual collector's offering is held during the Black Hills
Stock Show & Rodeo as a fundraising event for the Foundation. "Preserving
the Legacy by Investing in the Future", is the Foundation's
theme; and if you want to watch 'preserving the legacy' happen make
plans to attend the next Cowboy Heritage Auction.
Serious collectors and
curious spectators alike were waiting in line for the 9:00 a.m preview.
Auctioneer Doug Strotheide, Crawford, NE welcomed buyers to the
sale at 12:00 noon sharp. Clearly a popular sale, there was an electricity
in the air throughout the afternoon as names like Crockett, Buerman,
North & Judd, Furstnow, Heiser, Kelly Bros., Ricardo, McChesney,
Hamley, Duhamel, Miles City Saddlery and a resort for outlaws called
Canon City Prison were used. In total, 200 lots sold, in a price
range of $35 to $2100.
Selection highlights included
a Les Vogt commemorative bit, donated in total by Flat Creek Saddle
Shop, Jackson Hole, WY in celebration of the fifth anniversary of
the auction. #1 of one, this beautifully crafted silver and gold
bit brought $875.00 when the gavel fell.
Lot 14, a rare pair of
A.J. Williams double mounted/inlaid spurs of chased iron with a
Cheyenne heel split was the high selling item of the day at $2100.
Another pair of rare spurs, Crockett "Booger Reds", full
silver mounted with a heavy 10 pt. rowel brought $1350. A classic
piece, Lot 2, a Miles City Model 95 saddle, circa 1946 in outstanding
condition, was purchased for $1325. An authentic "Born To Buck"
movie poster from the infamous Casey Tibbs collection sold for $300;
while the original composition art layout for the movie poster sold
for $200. A unique offering of 168 original "Born To Buck"
slides taken by cowboy photographer Ed Smythe while the movie was
being filmed went home with a happy collector at a purchase price
"This was an outstanding
sale; we've worked hard to build an auction that collectors can
feel confident both consigning and purchasing at", stated Win
Bauer, a key organizer and recognized collector of western antiques
and memorabilia. "From some pretty humble beginnings, this
sale has grown into a well established western collectors auction,
offering something for everyone in a variety of price ranges. That's
due, in a large part, to the support of quite a few people who were
willing to help establish an auction like this here in South Dakota.
We're very pleased, and already we're planning for our sixth annual
sale", Bauer stated.
Organized and produced
by volunteers, led by committee chairs Win Bauer, Vale SD and Jay
George of Rapid City, SD, it's clear that this limited group of
dedicated individuals share an interest in old west memorabilia,
along with a commitment to the Foundation itself. "The Foundation
was formed to invest a little something back into the region that
has supported Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo over the years, through
community grants and scholarship programs", stated George.
"It's a dedicated group who help behind the scenes to present
the auction, and those folks, along with an ever-growing group of
buyers and consignors, have made this sale what it is today",
said George. "This sale is a unique experience; it's part atmosphere...
it's part timing....it's an unusual opportunity to purchase top
quality antiques and artwork carefully screened to provide buyers
with a variety of pieces; and with all proceeds returned to the
Foundation, it's an extremely worthy cause".
'Worthy cause' might be
a conservative way to describe this event. Foundation representatives
report in excess of 1,000 requests for scholarship applications
this year alone. "There are so many worthy students out there;
the Foundation Board of Directors certainly needs to consider expanding
their annual grants and the success of the Cowboy Heritage Auction
is one of the fundraising efforts which allows us to do that",
says Joe Norman, President. In addition to the annual scholarship
program, the Foundation awards an annual $5,000 grant to worthy
causes that involve agriculture or rural communities throughout
the region. Established in 1993, the Foundation has administered
a total in excess of $65,000 in grants and educational assistance
since its inception.
Organizers say they feel
the western collector's auction has now grown to a point that they
must consider adjusting the event slightly to ever-freshen their
presentation. These folks know how to do that and still retain old
west hospitality while they're at it. That's really no surprise.
After all, they consider themselves 'keepers of the legacy'.
For information about
how to consign to the auction or to become part of the mailing list
to receive a catalog, e-mail email@example.com