Brian Lebel’s Old West Auctions have become known for showcasing, all at one event, the full range of objects available for collectors of the West—saddles, art, firearms, Indian artifacts, spurs, photos, furniture, documents and even clothing. A wide array of Western artifacts including clothing from Western movie stars and other celebrities was once again featured at the Old West Auction (now combined with Morphy Auctions) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 26. Lebel opened the auction catalog by stating that the auction had “one of the most impressive selections of merchandise we’ve offered in 36 years.” And the auction bore that out.


Edward Bohlin did some of his best work in silver for his own personal collection. Bohlin’s silver-mounted gun belt and a pair of Colt Single-Action Army revolvers took top dollar at Brian Lebel’s Old West Auction in Las Vegas.


The biggest seller at the Las Vegas auction was Edward Bohlin’s personal silver-mounted gun belt, holding a pair of Colt Single-Action Army revolvers with silver grips. Praised by Bohlin scholar James Nottage as “the most artistic and richly embellished Western-styled gunbelt and holster set ever made,” it sold for $307,500. The second-highest selling item at the auction was a pair of silver- and gold-decorated parade chaps worn by Roy Rogers for publicity photos. The chaps sold for $184,500. Other celebrity-used items sold included Rex Allen’s Nudie-designed jacket and pants set, which took $5,166, and a Lone Ranger outfit worn by Clayton Moore, which collected $18,450.


In 1931 Mrs. H.L. Musick commissioned John McCabe to create this pair of silver and gold decorated chaps to wear in the Rose Parade. They were later acquired and worn by Roy Rogers for publicity photographs.


Among the horse gear sold at the auction was a stunning Mexican saddle with piteado stitching of cactus fiber plus accessories of sword, scabbard and chaps, all of which hammered down at $15,990. The price for the saddle was exceeded by a flashy bridle made at the Yuma Territorial Prison that went for $22,140. A 60-foot long rawhide reata made and signed by Luis B. Ortega brought $5,166. Spurs are always popular at the Old West Auctions; the highest-selling spur set at this auction was a pair made by G.S. Garcia, which sold for $41,820.


Piteado is a Mexican decorative technique where cactus fibers are woven into leather. A saddle finely embroidered with piteado stitching and decorated with silver mounts was one of several saddles sold in Las Vegas.


Luis B. Ortega was known for his braided rawhide pieces, which are in museums throughout the West and have become very collectible. This reata, made and signed by him, was among 28 lots associated with Ortega sold at the auction.


Several posters were sold at the auction, with a rare Colt advertisement featuring a cowgirl receiving $20, 910 while a large Buffalo Bill’s Wild West poster in French brought $15,375. A poster-sized photograph of three champions of the buffalo, Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill and Buffalo Jones, sold for $8,610.


Horsehair bit and bridle sets made by inmates in state and territorial prisons in the West are very desirable to collectors. A fancy set made at the Yuma Territorial Prison fetched over $22,000 at the Lebel auction.


This was the first appearance of Lebel’s Old West Auction in Las Vegas. Despite the temptations of the flashing slot machines in the casinos and expensive rock shows at The Sphere, collectors of the West spent a total of $2.3 million on the auction’s selections.


Custom silver spurs, with engraved rabbits on either side of each spur, sold for $41,820. The spurs were made by G.S. Garcia of Elko, Nevada with leather work by R.T. Frazier of Pueblo, Colorado.



June 21-23, 2024

Sporting & Collector Firearms Auction #1046

Rock Island Auction Co. (Bedford, TX) • 864-991-5949

July 25, 2024

Art of the West

Heritage Auctions (Dallas, TX) • 877-437-4824

July 27, 2024

The 2024 Coeur d’Alene Art Auction

(Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, NV) • 208-772-9009

This cacti and cowboy jacket was designed by Nudie for Western movie hero and crooner Rex Allen. Immigrant Nudie Cohn’s fancy outfits were inspired by the traditional vyshyvanka embroidery of his native Ukraine and his love of the American West.


Cowboys on bucking broncos were featured on an oversized three-sheet poster for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. Used to promote the show as it traveled across France in 1905, the poster hammered down at $15,375.


A smiling cowgirl was featured on a lithograph made by the W. F. Powers Company for Colt. In addition to supplying Colt with advertising, the company also printed patriotic posters during World War I.

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