20th-Century Mexican Charro Saddle
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (3:04)
GUEST: This saddle was given to me when I was four years old by my grandfather, who was good friends with Pedro Gonzalez, who was the bull master in Nogales. And Granddad went down and decided to tell this gentleman that he has a beautiful granddaughter and he would like to give her something very special. And this has been mine ever since. I only rode it one time, and that's when I ran for Coolidge Cotton Days Rodeo queen and got to wear that crown proudly on this saddle that my grandfather gave me.
APPRAISER: That's great. It's a beautiful saddle. This is incredible work. This is cactus fiber.
GUEST: Master. Oh, my gosh.
APPRAISER: This is maguey cactus fiber that's been embroidered onto the saddle. The silver is from Amozoc, Mexico, that has been chiseled and put on. The tree... Do you know what the tree's made of?
APPRAISER: The fork is made of mesquite. That's what this dark color is in this wood. The inlay is a different kind of wood. In the back is a different kind of wood. It is mother-of-pearl inlay. The tree took a long time to make. You said there's a label on the back? That is the label of the man who made the tree, not the saddle.
GUEST: Oh, this part. Okay.
APPRAISER: The stirrups are silver, the conchos are silver. They're all iron, but they have silver mounts on them and are hand-chiseled. This saddle was probably made in the late '30s or the '40s, not when you got it. And it was only ridden on special occasions... has the national symbol of Mexico up on the top. And this is a burn from a maguey rope that's been dallied. And the best charros, they can set this horn on fire.
APPRAISER: And these are burn marks.
GUEST: Let me see. (makes hissing sound)
APPRAISER: (laughs) These are burn marks around the horn.
GUEST: Yes, from the dally.
APPRAISER: You want to know what it's worth?
GUEST: Well, you're keeping me in a lot of suspense, and I think that you were tricking me before.
APPRAISER: No, no.
APPRAISER: If this came up at a sale in this part of the country where people know what it is, it would be an easy $6,000 to $8,000.
APPRAISER: So, you know, pretty good present from somebody.
APPRAISER: This is a particular style of saddle with the saddlebags. It's from the Guadalajara area.
GUEST: Gaudala... yes.
APPRAISER: If you went to that area and said, "I want a saddle like this new to use," you would have to pay $10,000 to $12,000 and you would have to wait a year to two years--
APPRAISER: --for this embroidery to be done and finished.
APPRAISER: So it's a really special thing.
GUEST: It's very special to me, and every time I look at it, I remember Granddad, so that's, that's the specialness. That's the best part.
APPRAISER: Thanks for bringing it to me
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