Santa Fe, NM, USA, July 29, 2021 — A Henry repeating rifle manufactured in 1863 and a J. Tapia target pattern spade bit shared top lot honors at the 31st annual Cody Old West Auction held June 26th by Brian Lebel’s Old West Events at the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza in Santa Fe, as well as online via the Old West Events website, www.OldWestEvents.com. Both lots knocked down for $23,600.
As with past events, the auction was part of a three-day Old West Show, held June 25th-27th, also hosted by Old West Events, in the nearby Santa Fe Community Convention Center. The auction was packed with 384 lots, all but two of which ended up changing hands, for a 99.5 percent sell-through, a record for Brian Lebel’s Old West Events. The total gross was just over $1 million.
Major categories included cowboy antiques and collectibles (saddles, spurs, bits, etc.); Native American artifacts; antique and historic firearms; Hollywood cowboy memorabilia; Western fine art; Old West gambling and saloon items; antique and contemporary belt buckles and other silverwork; antique advertising and lithography; and Western decorative arts and furniture.
The Henry repeating rifle, serial number 1729, was a .44 rimfire caliber weapon with a 24-inch barrel. It had a brass frame and blue finish, walnut stock, original sights, matching numbers and extra sight dove tail in the frame. It boasted a very good bore, an even “gun metal” gray-blue barrel and great patina on all brass surfaces. It was excellent mechanically, with excellent marks.
The elaborate J. Tapia multi-spotted large silver inlaid California target pattern spade bit was made in the 1890s, with multiple rows of dots forming a central target pattern on each cheek. Also, a pair of J. Tapia silver inlaid drop shank California spurs mounted on the heelbands with three ¾-inch coin silver spots featuring Tapia’s trademark raised nipples, gaveled for $10,925.
“Hollywood cowboys were a big hit on auction night, where a large collection of personal and screen-worn celebrity hats sold for way above estimate,” said Brian Lebel, owner of Old West Events. “A hat from rodeo champion and cowboy actor Ben Johnson sold for $8,850, more than 14 times its high estimate, while Clint Eastwood’s hat from the film Joe Kidd brought $8,625.”
Brian Lebel’s Old West Events’ next big show and auction will be held January 21st thru 23rd, 2022 in Mesa, Arizona. Watch the website for more information, at www.OldWestEvents.com.