Classic western Americana has long been a huge area of interest among collectors from all over the world. It's been the subject of pulp magazines, salacious newspaper stories, television shows and childhood fantasies. And now, with the Sept. 21 antiques auction at Dakota Plains Auctions in Lead, S.D., and online at iCollector.com, you can bring home any of the hundreds of items celebrating American history and western tradition.
Riding along that dusty trail
There is perhaps nothing more closely associated with the American west than a riding a horse. They weren't just the most common mode of transportation back then, they have become a symbol of the pioneering attitude that led American expansion west of the Mississippi.
The Sept. 21 auction will offer a wide selection of gear that can make your riding experience more authentic or serve as showpieces for family and friends who share your interest. Two parade saddles (lots #122 and 123) adorned with original Monel silver can serve as your perch the next time you take a horse to show or provide a stunning decorative element to your western-themed home.
If your tastes run more on the simple side, there will also be some more subdued, yet still remarkable, saddles up for bid, including a 1940s-era Hess & Hopkins black saddle (lot #51) and an antique leather child's saddle (lot #74). The pair of Clark woolie chaps (lot #49) that are also featured would be an excellent complement to any of the riding items you choose.
Just as a western auction wouldn't be complete without horse riding-related items, there also need to be a few classic firearms available to complete the image. Fortunately, the Dakota Plains auction features its share of those, too.
An 1892 Winchester .32 caliber lever action is about as authentic old west as it gets, being the kind of weapon that has been featured in wild west movies and TV shows since the advent of film. And a Smith & Wesson classic .44 Remington Magnum with original walnut grip is so beautiful you might become enamored with it as a thing of beauty, unable to bring yourself to actually fire it.
If you want to go back even farther into the history books, there will be two firearms – an antique Scotts double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun and a flintlock pistol (lot #224) – that harken back to a bygone era.
Once you get past the tools you'll need to live out your most ambitious wild west fantasies, you can also look to the furniture, art and vintage goods that make up the bulk of the inventory. Among the most interesting artifacts are a Wurlitzer Model 2600 jukebox (lot #66) and an antique National cash register Model 441-E (lot #81A) that looks like it might have been lifted as part of a heist by the James gang.
iCollector.com offers lovers of western Americana the opportunity to find all of the items that drew their interest to the era in the first place, from mounted buffalo heads to American Indian art to riding spurs and everything in between.