Historic Pancho Villa saddle sets new auction record at $750K

MESA, Ariz. – On Saturday evening, Jan. 28, 2012, the much-anticipated High Noon Western Americana Auction was held in Mesa, Ariz., to the filled ballroom of the Marriott Mesa Hotel. The key offering of the sale, which received worldwide media attention, was the rare, historic, silver embroidered saddle that belonged to the infamous renegade and revolutionary hero Pancho Villa.

Pancho Villa Saddle Pancho Villa’s last saddle earned $750,000 on Jan. 28, 2012 – far above its $250,000 estimate. The final hammer price was $625,000, bringing the 20 percent buyer’s premium to $125,000. Photo courtesy High Noon Western Americana.

Prior to Villa’s assassination in 1923, the magnificent saddle was created for him by renowned Mexican artisans and presented to him. It would be last saddle he owned.

Smothered in silver-wrapped threads over leather stump work with boldly-domed silver conchos, the saddle bears the marks of the craftsmen, and on each silver stirrup the carved styled initials of Francisco Villa (Villa’s given name) appears.

Offered without reserve, the consignors sat in the audience with great anticipation hoping it would be bought by someone who would share this important piece of history with the world. Estimated to bring $150,000 to $250,000, auctioneer Troy Black opened bidding for the saddle at $125,000 and quickly escalated the increments until it became a two-bidder war at $500,000.

The bidding competition ensued until the hammer dropped at $625,000 – new world record for a saddle at auction!

Applause and cheers filled the ballroom in honor of the new owner, a passionate south Texas collector who plans to have the saddle on display in a museum (to be announced).

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Overall, the Annual High Noon Western Americana auction realized nearly $2 million on just 300 lots of Western and Native Americana, fine art, artifacts, historic property and Hollywood memorabilia.

Complete results of the Western Americana and Native American artifact auction will be forthcoming. All prices reflected include 15 percent buyer’s premium.

Watch the excitement as Pancho Villa’s silver-embossed saddle sells for $625,000 hammer price (20 percent buyer’s premium of $125,000 brings the total to $750,000):


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