On Saturday evening, January 28, 2012, the much-anticipated High Noon Western Americana Auction was held in Mesa, AZ to a standing-room only crowd inside the 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. 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 the bidding 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 on the winning bid of $718,000 -- 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 on having the saddle on display in a museum (to be announced).
To see a video of the sale of the Pancho Villa saddle, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tBFigi3lUY
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 sale will be forthcoming and available at http://www.highnoon.com. All prices reflected include 15% buyer’s premium.