Joe Bianchi Spurs, ca. 1920
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $3,500 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:08)
GUEST: They were my father's. He passed away five years ago, and he always told me, "Whatever you do, don't get rid of them."
APPRAISER: Did he wear them?
GUEST: No, no, he never wore them. They were given to him. I don't know anything about them except they were called Victoria spurs, and supposedly handmade.
APPRAISER: Well, the reason they're called Victoria spurs is they were made in Victoria.
APPRAISER: And as you probably know, Victoria's up the road between here and Houston to the north about 100 miles. And they were made by an Italian immigrant named Joe Bianchi. First of all, they are handmade. He forged them on an anvil. A lot of times, on the inside they would say "handmade," and he would stamp them. Classic south Texas spurs. They call them bottle openers because of the shape of the shank. They were used to open bottles, and they do a good job of it.
GUEST: Oh, I bet.
APPRAISER: That's not why he did them that way, but that's what they ended up being called. He mounted all of his spurs that I've seen with silver coins. I've seen a couple that were mounted with gold coins. Usually, these are Liberty dimes. Sometimes these are also. In this case, they're Mexican pesos.
APPRAISER: Nearly ever pair of spurs he made was about this style. That's what he was known for. Lived in the late 1800s and clear up into the 20th century. Made a lot of spurs, made a lot of spurs for ranchers in this area. What really caught my eye about these is they're stamped "Bianchi."
GUEST: Oh, I never noticed that.
APPRAISER: There's little bitty letters on the inside, and it says, "Bianchi." If these spurs came up at an auction today, I think they would probably bring conservatively $3,000 to $3,500. So they are valuable spurs. Your dad told you right. I don't think they were worth that much when he had them.
GUEST: Oh, probably not.
APPRAISER: But they are now.
GUEST: It's good to know. I thank you.
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