Stetson Cowboy Hat, ca. 1870

Value (2012) | $800 Auction$1,200 Auction

The hat belonged to my grandfather, and he was a member of the Muckletonians, which was a hunting club in Clark County, Kentucky.

Okay. When did he get this hat, and do you know where he was when he got it?

We have a picture of him wearing the hat when he went to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado in 1878 with the Muckletonians on the trip.

Okay, Well, what really got me interested besides the hat was you have this little brochure on the Muckletonians' trip to the Rocky Mountains dated 1878. And in it, it says an old organization whose members "are devoted to the gun and the rod for recreation and good fellowship."

That’s right.

And lucky for you, he got a great hat. The hat is made by John B. Stetson, when Stetson was alive, and it's his classic model, "the Boss of the Plains," which is the cowboy hat from the 1870s and '80s. And if you turn it over, it says, "John B. Stetson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Boss Raw Edge." That means it has an unbound edge on it. But this is the Boss of the Plains hat. The hat band is made of braided horsehair with a German silver button on it that's actually a copy of a Texas Ranger's badge, but was real popular during this time period on hats. You also mentioned that he brought back this elk horn. This is an unfinished elk horn scraper that he probably got from some Indian group, but it is an elk horn. On today's market, Western collectibles are so popular. With the history you have on it, I would say this hat would be worth a minimum of $600. The hatband itself is probably worth $300 or $400. And I wouldn't be surprised at all in a Western collectibles auction if you didn't get $1,000 for it.

For the hat?

For just the hat.


Appraisal Details

San Antonio, TX
Update (2012)
$800 Auction$1,200 Auction
Appraised value (1998)
$600 Auction$1,000 Auction
Louisville, KY (July 11, 1998)
Tribal Arts

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