Child’s Chaps & Spurs, ca. 1910

Value (2005) | $2,400 Retail$3,000 Retail

Brought the spurs, chaps, and picture of my uncle. He was born in 1910. And he, uh... about three years old, it looks like, when he was wearing these. About all I can see on the spurs is the silver rowels. And I believe the rowels are coin, cutout coin.

Mmm. This is the rowel...

And his name is Jack Burke, which is inlaid in silver across there.

Where do you reckon those spurs came from?

Mexico, I think. Because of the centavos.

Let's start with the chaps. He's not wearing the chaps in the photograph.


I wish he was, but he's not. But these are shotgun chaps, they're called. And they're real typical of the trail-drive era from the 1870s clear up to about 1910. Then the styles changed to those big batwing chaps that you probably grew up with and that I'd seen. But these narrow shotgun style's a real old style. I've never seen a pair this small. I think they were made for him. They're too unusual. So they kind of had him dress like an old style cowboy. Now the spurs. They're not from Mexico. The fact that they have Mexican coins on the buttons, the way the engraving is with his name on the side, the five-pointed star rowel. It's all the hallmarks of an Italian spurmaker in Victoria, Texas, named Joe Bianchi. And Joe worked from around the turn of the century up clear through the '50s. He made spurs for everybody who was anybody and everybody who was nobody in South Texas. And he made them for cowboys, ranchers, some of the biggest ranchers you've ever heard of in Texas. Your uncle is wearing the spurs in that photograph, which is a neat documentation of them in use. They're the smallest Bianchi spurs I've ever seen. The chaps, if they were marked, would be worth more, but as it is, they're probably worth $1,200 to $1,500. Which is pretty good for little kids' clothes. The spurs are easily worth the same. So we're talking $2,400, $3,000. It's great stuff, and child's gear is particularly desirable right now. Thanks for coming, Ray. These are neat things.

Okay, thank you. Mighty fine, then. That's what I wanted to hear.

All right.

Appraisal Details

San Antonio, TX
Appraised value (2005)
$2,400 Retail$3,000 Retail
Houston, TX (July 16, 2005)
Leather, Metal
December 19, 2011: We contacted appraiser Bruce Shackelford for an updated appraisal of this object in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $3,000 - $3,500 (Increased)

Shackelford explains that despite the market in general, "Good stuff hasn't gone down [in value], and this is good stuff." He also noted that a book has recently come out about the spur maker, Joe Bianchi, who, according to Shackelford, "made spurs for everybody who was anybody and everybody who was nobody in south Texas."

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