Pancho Villa’s Horse Saddle Sells for $750,000.

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Images Courtesy of High Noon Western Americana Auction
By: Gisela Chan

Pancho Villas Horse Saddle

Pancho Villas Horse Saddle

Revolutionist Pancho (Fransisco) Villa’s personal horse saddle sold at auction for $750,000. This makes it the most expensive horse saddle that has ever sold either at a public auction or through a private sale.

The saddle was auctioned off at the High Noon Western Americana Auction in Meza, Arizona. The sale took place on January 28, 2012. The original estimate was that the saddle would bring anywhere from over $100,000 but under a quarter of a million dollars. In the end, the saddle astonished everyone when it sold for an impressive world record breaking price of $750,000!

The saddle was made by Alberto Tulan Cingo Marques and Joaquin Rodriguez and presented as a gift to Pancho Villa in 1920. Villa was later killed three years later in 1923. Making this the last saddle that Villa used to ride his horse.

In 1931, Villa’s widow Senora Maria Luz Villa Corral gave the saddle to Howard Hawk while he was directing the movie Viva Villa. Therefore, Hawk had the saddle from 1931 to 1954 and stored in his home in California during all these years. Sometime in 1954, the saddle was stolen from Hawks home in Palm Springs, California. However, Hawk didn’t realize the saddle was missing until 1957 as he was traveling out of state for several years.

Pancho Villa on his Horse Saddle

Pancho Villa on his Horse Saddle

21 years later, Hawk spotted the saddle on an auction sale being shown on public television. He immediately filed a police report and the Palm Springs Police Department retrieved it with the help of a search warrant issued by the District Attorney’s Office located in Fresno, California.

In December 26, 1977, Hawks passed away in Palm Springs, California while still being the owner of Villas saddle. After some litigation the saddle was then rewarded to Hawks estate heirs, which happened to be his son in law, Donald D. Mc Campbell.
Later, in 1990 Mc Campbell sold the saddle to Chuck Ramsey from the Trails West Gallery of Laguna Beach, California. From 1990 to 2009, Ramsey displayed the saddle at the Witte and History Museums located in San Antonio and Edinburg, Texas.

During the auction, auctioneer Troy Black called the bids in the Marriot Hotel where the bidding took place. Two fierce bidders went at it until the final hammer price was set at $625,000. And with the buyers premium it ended up selling for a total of $750,000.

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