A Rare Saddle that belonged to the infamous Mexican renegade and revolutionary hero Pancho Villa has been auctioned for world record price of $718,000. Pancho Villas saddle was purchased by Ernie Davis of Cotulla at the High Noon Western Americana Auction. This historic saddle was created for Villa by renowned Mexican artisans just few months before his assassination in 1923. It would be last saddle he owned.
The saddle is signed both by the leather worker and the saddle tree manufacturer, and has monogram in silver of the patron (PV) on the pommel and the stirrups. The embroidery technique used to decorate the leather – silver-wrapped threads over leather stumpwork – required a significant amount by an expert craftsman. Great historical importance to this saddle give some signs of use, such as the wear in the top surface of the embroidery of the stirrup leathers where legs would rub, the darkened area on the pommel where a right hand would rest, and the repair and still-broken loop at the front where the saddle skirt is attached to the saddle tree.
It is unknown exactly when or how many years it took to construct this saddle. What is precisely known about its fate, dated back to 1934 when Villas widow presented the saddle to movie director Howard Hawks. He had the saddle with him till 1976, when during a TV commercial he discovered that the saddle was stolen from his collection. Later, the saddle was seized under a search warrant, but Hawks didn’t survive to receive it, he died 1977. In 1982, the saddle was returned to the estate of Howard Hawks. In 1990, the saddle was bought by Mr.Chuck Ramsey from Trails West Gallery in Laguna Beach. Recently, he sold it for $718,000 – the world record price for an auctioned saddle.