Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Brian Lebel's Old West Show & Auction 2011

Since its move to the Denver Merchandise Mart in 2009,  Brian Lebel’s Cody Old West Show & Auction has become one of the highlights of my summer schedule.
It is impossible to overstate the sheer wealth of riches on display at this show.  Truly there is something for everyone with offerings that include all kinds of Western memorabilia from vintage movie posters,
to retro cowboy boots,
a full set of first edition books by Will James,
some of which were autographed,
and a guitar that was custom made for Dale Evans,  
There were no Breyers to be found...
but Teresa and I did sniff out a few interesting horse shaped objects.
We also found this beautiful china bull...
and a tee pee that reminded both of us of Lu Heater!
Of course there was also a lot of tack horse equipment, including bits both new...
and old,
all kinds of spurs,
too many hitched horse hair prison bridles to count,
and a $95,000 Heiser-Keyston parade saddle.
Some of the booths were mini museums with beautiful, well thought out displays.
Others were more reminiscent of a wonderfully jumbled attic.
Sawbuck pack saddles were utilized in all sorts of creative ways to display everything from firearms...
to books.
I'm always partial to things that come with a story.  This old saddle would have been photo worthy all by itself... 
but the documentation makes it so much more interesting.
Of course not all documentation is created equal...
Still, I think I love this tag even more than I love the old saddle bags it describes!
I will start posting details pictures of some of the better auction pieces later this week.  In the meantime, here's a teaser for all the tack lovers!
Next year's edition of the Old West Show is scheduled for June 22-24.  Model tackmakers, mark your calendars!  This event is worth the trip and I'd be happy to play host for the weekend. 


  1. Oooh, that looks like such a brilliant day out! I love looking at old tack and stuff! ^^

    I went to a show this week and took loads of photos - feel free to save any for reference if you like - there's a couple of Highland pony deer stalking saddles that I thought you might find interesting. :)

  2. Between the Wild West Show on Saturday and the Mini Show on Sunday, I took well over 1,000 pictures this weekend! Thank heavens for digital cameras. I would have gone broke if I was still shooting with my old film Nikon!

    LOVE your pictures and will definitely steal some for my files. That stalking saddle is too neat and you know, I do have a Beswick Highland who would look just perfect in it....


  3. Ooh!!! You know I love those silver parade saddles and hitched horsehair bridles!!!

  4. Haha, I took well over 1400 and managed to sae *only* 400 odd... XD I definitely couldn't cope with film either - no way!

    Oooh yes, I love the Beswick Highland - I don't really collect clinkies but I think I'd make an exception for him. ;)

  5. That was an enjoyable day :)

    But, where's the stirrup photos!?!?!? :P