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Smoke Signals Monthly eMagazine

In The News

Each month, Smoke Signals will bring you current news and information about what’s happening in the industry, both here and across the pond. Whether it’s the latest exhibit at the Autry, the newest acquisition at the National Cowboy Museum, or news about one of you… you can read about it here!  Have news to share?  Make sure you send it to us so we can know too!  Inquiring Western minds want to know…

Missed a couple of issues? Need a refresher? Here you can look back and browse previous “In the News.”


Brian Lebel's Denver Old West Show and Auction
Denver Old West PosterJune 21-23, 2013

Brian Lebel's
Denver Old West
Show & Auction

The Denver Mart Expo Building, Denver, CO

Buy, sell, and trade with over 200 dealers at the Denver Old West Show for the 24th annual sale of authentic cowboy, Indian and western collectibles, antiques, art, jewelry, historic firearms, apparel, spurs, saddles, and other fine antique and contemporary merchandise. The exciting, live Saturday night Denver Old West Auction will see over 300 lots of fine western art, artifacts and collectibles cross the block, including items from the personal collection of Clayton Moore, television's original Lone Ranger. Auction catalogs, show coupons and all the details at or

Western Haritage Awards

Western Heritage Award-winnersTwo National Museum of Wildlife Art Books Receive Western Heritage Awards

Exhibition-related titles win 2013 "Wranglers" for outstanding photography, art.

2013 "Wrangler" winners: above left, Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct by Adam Duncan Harris; right, National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West (© William Albert Allard/National Geographic Stock).

Jackson Hole, Wyoming - April 23, 2013 - Two books created to accompany exhibitions at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole were honored Saturday night with Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West (National Geographic Books, October 2012) won for Outstanding Photography Book, and Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct (University of Oklahoma Press, June 2012) won for Outstanding Art Book at the April 20 awards banquet at the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City.

On hand at the awards event to accept a Wrangler - the bronze cowboy on horseback statue presented to each Western Heritage Award honoree - for National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West was James C. McNutt, president and CEO of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. McNutt, together with collaborators Rich Clarkson of Denver and Susan Straight of National Geographic Books, organized the project, sponsored by the Mays Family Foundation, that produced the photography book winner. The book accompanied a nationwide exhibit of the same name. Said the National Cowboy Museum about the book, "The photographs weave together a visual tapestry of this rich, varied and enduring landscape that is the American West."

Adam Duncan Harris, curator of art for the National Museum of Wildlife Art, was also in Oklahoma City to receive a Wrangler as editor of Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct, the art book winner that was published with support of Lynn and Foster Friess and the Bob Kuhn Memorial Fund. Also created to accompany an exhibition of the same name at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the "lavishly illustrated volume is sure to further establish Bob Kuhn's place in the pantheon of late-20th-century American artists," said the National Cowboy Museum about the title.

23rd Annual High Noon Western Americana Weekend

Saddle Up for the Spectacular 23rd Annual
High Noon Western Americana Weekend!

January 26 and 27, 2013

Photo of High Noon ShowMesa, AZ - It's almost here, just a few weeks away, when the Best of the West ride into Mesa, Arizona showing them what the real world of Western Americana is all about. Journey back in time through the art and artifacts of the Americans and the Indians who built a legacy so powerful it still captivates the world today. It only lasts two days, but it's two days that will change your life.

High Noon Auction ItemsOn Saturday and Sunday, shop till you drop at the renowned High Noon Western Americana Antique Show where over 150 of the country's finest exhibitors featuring the best in historic to contemporary fill the Mesa Convention Center Exhibit halls making this event a Western Americana shopping experience of a lifetime. It's art, it's history, it's clothing, jewelry and boots, it's furnishings, it's cowboy, it's vaquero - it's a shopping experience to fulfill the dreams of every cowboy and cowgirl! For the complete list of exhibitors, show hours and info, please visit

Saturday evening, January 26th at 5pm sharp, the world-class and record-setting High Noon Auction will begin in the Ballroom of the Marriott Mesa Hotel. Not your ordinary bidding and buying event, the High Noon Western Americana Auction is like none other in the world. Steeped in history and the richness of the American West, this year's sale will be highlighted by the rare and historic Simón Bolívar Al Liberatador saddle which is being offered for $50,000 to $100,000. Of equally impressive note, Bohlin and Keyston collectors will vie for parade saddles smothered in silver, which are being offered in the $80,000 to $125,000 range.

Headlining the important Western art to be offered will be Viva La Revolucion, the signed watercolor on paper by Edward Borein. This important work is being offered for $40,000 to $60,000.

If your passion runs to bits and spurs, then this is the auction to attend. If American Indian puts a feather in your cap, then the extraordinary and historic works by North Plains, Sioux and Navajo, to mention just a few, won't leave you disappointed.

In all, over 300 lots will be offered at the spectacular High Noon Western Americana Auction. For complete information, to order an auction catalog and for bidder registration, please visit or call (310) 202-9010.

Saddle up everyone and we will see you in Mesa, Arizona on Saturday and Sunday, January 26 and 27, 2013, at the Mesa Convention Center and Marriott Mesa Hotel!

Last Call...Make your reservations at the Marriott now for your discounted High Noon room rate.

New Movie on John Wesley Hardin

Photo of John Wesley HardinNew Movie on the Real Life of John Wesley Hardin

For the first time ever, the most accurate and detailed motion picture has been written on the life and times of Texas gunman, John Wesley Hardin. The movie will begin shooting in May, 2013. The production, titled Hardin, is a screenplay written by Producers Larry Zeug and his wife, Linda Head. It will star, in the leading role, producer, actor and writer, Justin Ament. Adapted from a story by noted western arms author, George Layman and well-known historian, Drew Gomber, filming will take place in Brackettville, Texas at the Alamo Village movie set. This true story is based upon John Wesley Hardin's autobiography and years of research into his family history.

Hardin will depict the troubled life of one of America's most notorious gunslingers, from his earliest years as a teenager to his demise in 1895. The production will be filmed in the United States, specifically in the great state of Texas, where most of Hardin' life story took place. Using authentic, period firearms and clothing with attention to historical details, the production is slated to become a testimony to the man who once claimed, "I never killed a man who didn't need killing".

The Woolaroc Honors the Art of Lynn O. Doughty

Submission from two of our avid Smoke Signals readers who are also Woolaroc supporters and Lynn Doughty fans: James and Tammy Hogan

The Woolaroc honors the Art of Lynn O. Doughty's
Old West Characters Sculpted In Wood

Collage of Doughty's Works

 The Old West, though a small slice of American history, was yet a time when some very memorable characters emerged. As a boy growing up in Oklahoma, Lynn O. Doughty developed a love for the Old West and the characters that inhabited that exciting era. From Cowboys to Native Americans, miners to mountain men, camp cooks to chuck wagons, and horses to stagecoaches - all are inspirations to Lynn and can be found in painstaking detail in his award winning woodcarvings.
You can taste the beans cooking on the range fire and the crusty biscuits in the dutch ovens and smell the worn out leather on his cowboy's chaps as you are transported back in time to the open range. One must also marvel at his ability to capture the actual likeness of famous figures in history such as Will Rogers (proudly been displayed at the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, OK). Or Frank Phillips (founder of Phillips 66 and western art collector) in his cowboy gear, on display as part of the permanent collection of Woolaroc Museum near Bartlesville, OK in which Phillips founded. 

Photo of Ken Meek and Lynn DoughtyKen Meek, Director of the Woolaroc museum recognized the importance of this artist and gave him the greatest honor of his career, selecting Lynn for a one-man show and exhibition of his work at the museum near Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Woolaroc is home to one of the most important collections of western art in the world including major works by William R. Leigh, Frank Tenney Johnson, Joe Beeler, CM Russell and Frederic Remington, plus an impressive collection of Native American artifacts. The show will run from November 23, 2012 thru January 6, 2013.

Mr. Meek chose Doughty because he tells a story with each piece carved out of wood. No limited edition bronzes or prints so each piece is truly one of a kind, taking a week up to a year to create. His attention to detail is has led to a devoted following of collectors in the United States and internationally.
Lynn has been featured in well-known publications such as Western Horseman, Oklahoma Today, Cowboys and Indians, and the cover of Chip Chats (the magazine of the National Woodcarvers association). He has also graced the pages of Art of The West and been displayed at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He has won literally hundreds of first place ribbons, carvers choice awards, and best of show awards in competitions throughout the United States and in 2011 Lynn was presented the Ron Ryan award, by the Dayton, Ohio Woodcarvers Guild as the woodcarver who best represents the ideals of his craft, and freely gives his time and talent to advance the art of woodcarving. Lynn possesses the fire of artisans who keep the spirit of the west alive through woodcarving.

Visit the Woolaroc between November 23rd and January 6th to see this fine exhibition ( Cannot get to Oklahoma? Visit Doughty's art at: or

TOP, left to right: "Iron Buffalo," "Frank Phillips," "Charles M. Russel," "Hot Tamales."
NEXT: Left to right: Ken Meeks (Curator of Woolaroc Museum), 23 inch tall carving of Frank Phillips, and Lynn Doughty.

Romance and Reality of the West in Images Spanning 125 Years

Romance and Reality of the West in Images Spanning 125 Years 

National Museum of Wildlife Art one of 10 museums simultaneously hosting show
Jackson Hole, Wyoming - August 2, 2012 - Iconic imag es of the American West taken by more than 50 photographers spanning more than a century of real-time issues and conditions will be on display as "National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West" opens in 10 national venues, including the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, on October 27, 2012.

The largest simultaneous U.S. museum opening of its kind, the exhibition includes 75 photographs that stand alone as both fine art and journalistic moments in the history and culture of the Western U.S. The National Museum of Wildlife Art is spearheading the unprecedented event along with nine of its associates in the Museums West consortium and the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibition will be on display at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole from October 27, 2012, through April 28, 2013.

Selected from among thousands in the National Geographic Image Collection, they are the work of photographers ranging from such well-known names as William Henry Jackson and Ansel Adams to contemporary photographers William Albert Allard and Bruce Dale.

The following is a list of the 10 participating museums:
· Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, Georgia
· Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming
· Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
· Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
· National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
· National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C.
· National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
· Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, New York
· C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana
· Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas
A dedicated website, featuring exhibition images, photographer interviews, interactive features and more will be available online at as the exhibition opening date approaches.
A companion book to the exhibition, National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West: Capturing 125 Years of Majesty, Spirit and Adventure (National Geographic Books, October 2012), features more than 180 photographs, including rarely published and never-before-seen images.
The exhibition is organized by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and Museums West. Presented by the Mays Family Foundation.

Left, Monument Valley from the National Geographic exhibition (© Bruce Dale/National Geographic Stock);
right, cover of companion book (© William Albert Allard/National Geographic Stock)

Historic Pancho Villa Silver, Snake-Head Saddle to be Sold at Auction

Pancho Villa horsebackHistoric Pancho Villa Silver, Snake-Head Saddle to be Sold at Auction

Pancho Villa, infamous renegade, Robin Hood, revolutionary and hero of the Mexican people, was assassinated almost 100 years ago after a highly contentious yet ultimately celebrated life. A life celebrated numerous times on the silver screen (played by actors including Telly Savalas and Antonio Banderas), in museums and institutions around the world and a name honored on street signs and plazas throughout the Americas. What remains today of this complex and mysterious man, are the facts and folklore and his final magnificent silver threaded saddle -  saddle that will captivate collectors and historians alike when it finally comes to public auction on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at the High Noon Western Americana auction in Mesa, Arizona. Historic, romantic, important - this final artifact of his life is estimated to bring $150,000 to $250,000.
 Pancho Villa saddle and detail shot
 The provenance of this saddle matches the richness of Villa's life. Given by Villa's widow and only legal wife (reportedly he had eight) to famed Hollywood director Howard Hawks during the filming of Viva Villa, she presented this glorious saddle to him as a gift as she felt the film truly extolled the Mexican Revolution and the man she knew - Villa himself. For the past 20 years, Villa's saddle has been on display at both the Witte Museum in San Antonio, TX and the South Texas History Museum in Edinburg, TX.

The saddle, in excellent condition, is smothered in silver-wrapped threads and boldly-domed silver conchos.  Made and marked by expert craftsmen, it has Francisco (nickname: Pancho) Villa's initials in high relief on the stirrups. Thematically it has a 3-dimensional silver snake head and a carved diablo in the leather under the grand saddlebags. Joseph Sherwood of High Noon says, "This is the trifecta for saddles: beautiful, in great condition and historically significant."

Linda Kohn Sherwood of High Noon says, "Pancho Villa was both a charismatic hero and cruel outlaw." He survived countless battles and assassinations of 3 strong Mexican revolutionary leaders (Madero, Zapata and Carranza) and the stories of his life helped define the spirit of his country's struggle for freedom. His place in history is a paradox: a revolutionary idealist who believed firmly in public education, health and good government, and a vicious, mean-spirited, cruel revolutionary who would do anything to win.

The saddle's colorful history also blends with Hollywood mystique. Pancho Villa has been played by over 35 actors since 1919. The most recent rumor is that Johnny Depp may take the roll next! His legend is a mosaic of folklore and fact, including stories of his treasures said to be buried somewhere in the Mexican desert.


The 22nd Annual High Noon Western Americana Weekend Event will be held January 28 and 29, 2012 at the Mesa Convention Center in Mesa, AZ.

The important High Noon Western Americana Auction will begin at 5pm Saturday, January 28th, when the final Pancho Villa saddle as well as over 300 lots of important Western Americana art, artifacts and historic property will be offered. Preview for this event will be Thursday and Friday, January 26th and 27th or by private appointment prior to the sale.

The weekend is complemented with the renowned two-day High Noon Western Americana Antique Show where over 100 of the country's finest exhibitors featuring the best in historic to contemporary fill the Mesa Convention Center Exhibit halls making this event a Western Americana shopping experience of a lifetime.

For more information on the January 28-29, 2012 High Noon Western Americana Weekend event and the Pancho Villa saddle, please visit or call the office of High Noon at (310) 202-9010.

The Robb Report on Saddle Collecting

August cover of Robb Report magazineThe Robb Report  
on Saddle Collecting

Smoke Signals urges you to pick up the August 2011 copy of the Robb Report Collection (Red Lamborghini on cover). See pages 60-68 for Karen Cakebread's wonderful article on saddle collecting, entitled "A Wild Western Ride - from the auction block to the ranch, high-end saddles remain in high demand." Thanks goes out to Karen for her insightful glimpse into collecting Western Americana, both antique and contemporary. High Noon gets a nod!

Billy the Kid Tintype Brings $2.3 Million at Record-Breaking Auction

Billy the Kid TintypeBilly the Kid Tintype Brings $2.3 Million at Record-Breaking Auction

The famous "Upham tintype" of Billy the Kid sold on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at Brian Lebel's Old West Auction, bringing $2.3 million including the premium. This is a record price paid at auction for an historical photograph, and is a record for any single item at Lebel's event, now in its 22nd year. Total sales equaled $3.6 million for 444 lots, a total sales record for the auction house. An impressive 94% sales rate was realized overall.

It took 2 1/2 minutes from the opening bid to the fall of the hammer for Billy's tintype to sell, with 5 bidders involved to 1.2 million and 2 bidders through the final stretch, all of whom were present on the floor. The winning bidder was Florida billionaire and collector, William Koch, who graciously granted interviews, posed for photos and even signed autographs after the sale.

A number of pieces brought well above-estimate prices, including a John Wayne Productions movie hat that sold on the telephone for $17,250, more than 10 times the low estimate. The Andy Warhol serigraph, Mother and Child (est. $8,000 - 10,000), brought $18,400. Other notable pieces include the Ed Borein watercolor, California Vaquero which brought $138,000, a record auction price for a Borein watercolor. A Colt Single Action with provenance to the Johnson County War brought $46,000 in a heated bidding contest.

Brian Lebel, auction owner, stated, "Across the board, prices were strong, and good pieces brought good money, as they always do."

A complete list of prices realized is available at Additional details from the auction appear below.

Contact: Melissa McCracken
480-779-9378 /



Personal belt buckles of rodeo legend Jim Shoulders sold in 3 consecutive lots for a total of $27,600 combined, with the first offered bringing an impressive $12,650.

Phone bidding was fast and furious for a unique and finely woven Navajo "cow rug" that brought $8,625 (est. $3,500 - 5,500).

The personal scrapbook of Buffalo Bill's Wild West performer, Jordan Cottle brought $20,700 after a lively battle between bidders on the floor and the phones. Cottle's Wild West presentation Colt Double Action was equally sought after, realizing $26,450 in another contest between the phones and the floor.

The best line of the night was likely heard during the sale of original copies of the divorce depositions between Buffalo Bill Cody and his wife Louisa Cody. When the bidding stalled at $5,000 a ringman exclaimed, "They're the cheapest divorce papers you'll ever get!" They sold for $6,325.

(All prices include buyers' premium.)

July 23, 2011 is 7th Annual National Day of the Cowboy

July 23, 2011 - 7th Annual is National Day of the Cowboy

Cowboys at Sunset

by Linda Kohn Sherwood, Editor

The mission of the National Day of the Cowboy nonprofit organization is to contribute to the preservation of America's Cowboy heritage so that the history and culture which the United States Congress's National Day of the Cowboy resolution honors, can be shared and perpetuated for the public good, through education, the arts, celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, and community activities.

July 23, 2011 Seventh Annual National Day of the Cowboy

The Cowboy Code: 1 - Live each day with courage. 2 - Take pride in your work. 3 - Always finish what you start. 4 - Do what has to be done. 5 - Be tough, but fair. 6 - When you make a promise, keep it. 7 - Ride for the brand. 8 - Talk less and say more. 9 - Remember that some things aren't for sale. 10 - Know where to draw the line.

An official day honoring the Cowboy and Cowgirl has been observed in America since President George W. Bush issued a letter of support to Wyoming's U.S. Senator, Craig Thomas, stating that July 23, 2005, should be recognized as "a day to celebrate the Cowboy as a symbol of the grand history of the American West. The Cowboy's love of the land and love of the country are examples for all Americans."

In response to that first formal declaration of one Day for the Cowboy, the National Day of the Cowboy nonprofit organization was established in order to pursue permanent passage of the National Day of the Cowboy resolution, so that the fourth Saturday in July would always be recognized as the National Day of the Cowboy. The stated mission of the NDOC organization is to contribute to the preservation of America's Cowboy heritage so that the history and culture which the United States Congress's National Day of the Cowboy resolution honors, can be shared and perpetuated for the public good, through education, the arts, celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, and community activities. It stands to honor history; and the contributions made by cowboys all over the world.

Bethany Braley, the Executive Director of the organization, its Board of Directors, spokespersons, and those who volunteer their time and effort to this cause, are dedicated not only to perpetuating and preserving the 'cowboy' way of life, but also to building community all over the world among the many 'western' enthusiasts who continue to hold this element of America's history in high regard. This international cultural phenomenon is aptly highlighted in the words of the 2008 U.S. House Cowboy Day Resolution which declares, "The love of the Cowboy archetype transcends gender, generations, ethnicity, geographic boundaries, and political affiliation."
Last year they were proud to add the Autry National Center to the list of those dedicated to supporting the cause with their annual tradition. This year's event will be held July 23 of course, on the Autry museum grounds.

For more information, or to throw your hat into the ring in support of this great 'tradition' and dedicated organization, as a member or as a volunteer, visit, and contact them through email at 

Photo at top by and copyright Myron Beck.

TCAA and CAA Collaborate

TCAA and CAA Collaborate to Create One Very Exceptional Event

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is very honored to announce that the 46th Annual Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) Sale and Exhibition will be held in conjunction with the Museum's longstanding Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) Exhibition and Sale, now in its 13th year. The combination of these two events running side by side, will offer collectors and enthusiasts of Western fine art an unparalleled opportunity at one location over the course of one weekend.

"It really was a groundswell of interest from all sides that fueled the merging of these two events," said Don Reeves, the Museum's McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture. He also reflected, "In 1998, when the TCAA was being formed, they looked to the CAA for advice on how to put their organization together. In essence, the CAA mentored the TCAA in their development so it's perfect that they are finally together for this event."

And for the CAA show, it is now returning to its roots. Its inaugural exhibition was held at what was then the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1966. In 1973, the CAA Sale & Exhibition moved to the Phoenix Art Museum. Today, the organization has 22 active members who will participate in the 2011 exhibition. Tim Cox, president of the Cowboy Artists of America, said, "The Cowboy Artists of America are tremendously excited about the association with the National Cowboy Museum. We hope our followers will join us in the kickoff celebration."

The TCAA is dedicated to preserving and promoting saddlemaking, bit and spur making, silver-smithing and rawhide braiding. They are master craftsmen who have elevated their work to an artistic level, and this year 17 members are expected to offer 50 works of functional art for exhibition and purchase. "The TCAA is anxious to share the stage already set at the Museum," said Scott Hardy, TCAA president. "Our members believe these exhibitions may well make history this year and in the years to come." The move to October does represent a change in dates for the TCAA from its traditional last Saturday in September.

"We believe that bringing the Cowboy Artists of America home to the National Cowboy Museum is one of the most exciting and historic events to take place in the art world in a very long time," said Museum President Chuck Schroeder.

Art enthusiasts are encouraged to save the dates now in order to attend the preview party October 14. On October 15, attendees can look forward to an autograph party luncheon and educational activities during the daytime, followed by a marquee fixed-price sale that evening. The event will be capped by a "Western Formal" banquet followed by a celebratory dance held in the Museum's Sam Noble Special Events Center, one of the grandest venues in the West.

The CAA exhibition and sale will continue through November 27, while the TCAA fine art will be on display and available for purchase through January 8, 2012. The Museum will feature both exhibitions in online catalogs, and commemorative printed catalogs will be available for purchase. For more information go to

Art by TCAA and CAA Artists







Creating a truly unprecedented opportunity to experience the finest Western art will be the collaborative Exhibition and Sale of the TCAA and the CAA. Enthusiasts will be able to immerse themselves in the works from the masters such as "Hummingbird in Gold Overlay on Bit" by TCAA artist Ernie March and Dusty Work by CAA artist Bill Owen.

The Frontier Project

The Frontier Project 
Celebrating North America's Cowboy Culture

The Frontier Project, Inc. is a Colorado-based publishing and multimedia company, which produces journalism through media projects to share, educate and inspire and perhaps mentor young craftsmen to continue in the traditions of American crafts.
Founded in 2010 by a team headed by award-winning A.J. Mangum, a lifelong horseman and journalist. Mangum is also editor of the forthcoming Ranch & Reata Magazine, contributing editor for The Cowboy Way and co-author of Ranch Roping: The Complete Guide to a Classic Cowboy Skill. With two decades of journalistic experience and his nine-and-a-half year tenure as editor of Western Horseman, A.J.'s passion really runs to mentoring young people interested in traditional cowboy crafts. "I saw a need for a new approach to journalism about the real West, an approach not driven by marketing or advertising, but by the need to share the stories of influential westerners, as well as the West's unsung heroes and heroines," Mangum says. "The Frontier Project will use an 'up close and personal' storytelling approach that puts its subjects front and center and allows them to tell their stories in their own words. Viewers can expect no fluff, no fads, no gimmicks, no bull."
If you haven't seen the previous two episodes of The Frontier Project, a multi-segment series documenting today's artists and craftsmen who define the thriving North American cowboy culture, you won't want to miss episode three. In this segment, the work and craft of saddle maker John Willemsma of Guthrie (OK) will be featured. John will give insights and demonstrations into what goes into the elaborate carving and craft of today's finest saddles.
In the first episode, Kansas craftsman Tuffy Flagler shares his career as one of the most gifted makers of traditional working gear. In episode two, spur maker Bill Heisman demonstrates the fundamentals of inlaying silver and Herb Mignery explains how ranch life inspires his work.
For more information and to purchase these informative and inspiring DVDs of those individuals who still celebrate the cowboy culture, visit 

Fashion Blast!

Fashion Blast!
Fashion is peering into the Old West!!!!

Get the scoop on the latest brands giving their "nod" to the Western look! With older, western names like Pendleton, Woolrich, and new names like Me & Arrow, BB Dakota and Jack, and West is Dead the word on the city street is DRESS WESTERN. Got an IPAD? Check out Pendleton to see their new, innovative designs and styles. Melissa Magsaysay (Fashion Market Editor for the Los Angeles Times Newspaper) reports from Las Vegas at the important Magic and Project trade shows. Check out her article at:

The 21st Annual High Noon Western Americana Auction Grosses Over $2.1 Million

The 21st Annual High Noon Western Americana Auction grosses over $2.1 million

Mesa, AZ — The ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in Mesa (AZ) was standing-room-only on Saturday evening, January 29, 2011, as bidders from across the country joined absentee, telephone and internet bidders in quest of a diverse array of Western Americana, cowboy collectibles, American Indian and fine art and artifacts along with some select Hollywood memorabilia from popular silver screen heroes. This year’s sale realized over $2.1 million on just 344 lots scoring the second highest per lot average in High Noon’s 21 year history. High Noon had designated this year’s event a celebration of the America Indian bringing to the block one of the most significant collection of American Indian offerings to ever come to High Noon. Prices realized on this collection validated the fact that the culture, spirit and art of these nations is deeply woven and valued by collectors worldwide. (prices indicated here reflect 15% buyers premium.)

Photo collage of Auction ItemsLinda Kohn Sherwood, co-owner of High Noon, opened the evening with her welcoming speech, a tradition for this High Noon event. Then auctioneer Troy Black and his ring men were off and running and bidder cards flew up. The tone of the excitement for the evening was set early on when Lot #3, a pair of fabulous Star Spangled Banner Boots (PHOTO 1) by the Hyer Boot Company sold for $12,650, almost 4 times over their high estimate of $4,000. It happened again just a few lots later when Lot #11, turn of the century salesman sample windmill by the Woodmanse Mfg. Co. of Freeport, (IL) earned $9,775 against its high estimate of $3,500.

Several important bronzes were offered at this sale and all earned impressive results. Lot #62, a bronze on wood base entitled Turning the Leaders by John Hampton was estimated to sell for $6,000 to $9,000 but sold for $12,650. This was followed by $13,800 achieved on Lot #64, a bronze on marble base by Harry Jackson entitled Two Champs II (PHOTO 2) which was estimated at $5,000 to $7,000.

Horse accoutrements performed equally strong. Lot #10, a G.S. Garcia eagle bit (PHOTO 3) sold for $8,050 (estimate $3,000 to $5,000) and a pair of C.P. Shipley spurs (Lot #126) expected to earn $10,000 on the high side went for $12,650. As expected, Bohlin performed well. Lot #153, a Bohlin Taxin Model silver and gold parade saddle (PHOTO 4) brought $63,250 surpassing its $40,000 to $60,000 estimate.

Starting off the American Indian category was a circa 1870 Blackfeet Tomahawk and Beaded Drop (Lot #135) (PHOTO 5). Expected to achieve $20,000 on the high side, this lot earned $37,950 after heated bidding from the floor and phones. Immediately following, Lot #136, a Sioux Pictorial Beaded Vest sold for $14,950 against its estimate of $7,000 to $9,000 and Lot #138, a circa 1860 Plateau Pony Beaded Shirt (PHOTO 6) sold for solidly within estimate for $74,750. A charming Kiowa Beaded Model Cradle, (Lot #273) circa 1880, achieved $18,400, well over its high estimate of $12,000.

The renowned cowboy artist Edward Borein always draws competitive bidding and this year, particular excitement was seen on his ornate Charro Jacket and Vest (Lot 196). Acquired and personally worn by Borein, this ensemble (PHOTO 7) was estimated at $5,000 to $10,000 but sold for over twice its high estimate going for $21,850.

Turning to the fine Western art category, the room stood in applause as the hammer dropped on Lot #230. It was Wild Horses, (PHOTO 8) a signed oil on board by Will James that would bring the highest price of the evening. Bidding on this work opened at $50,000 and quickly escalated into a bidding war driving the final sale price to $149,500, nearly tripling the artist’s previous auction record.

In Linda Kohn Sherwood’s opening speech, she teased the crowd that “tonight, the true Rooster Cogburn” would be revealed. Was it John Wayne or Jeff Bridges? Well, that question might not have been answered but it was great fun watching the crowd bid furiously on the original vest, shirt and scarf (PHOTO 9) worn by John Wayne in the original 1969 Paramount production of True Grit. Selling for $29,850, we’ll have to wait until Jeff Bridges ensemble comes to auction to see who is the “real Rooster Cogburn.”

The entire weekend was a wonderful celebration of our Western Americana heritage. Thousands of shoppers filled the Mesa Convention Center for two days to buy from over 150 of the country’s finest dealers in Western Americana antiques and contemporary works. Across the board, vendors at the show reported strong sales on both mid to high priced items.

For more information about High Noon’s 2011 Western Americana Weekend Event, visit or call the offices of High Noon at (310) 202-9010.


1. This pair of fabulous Star Spangled Banner Boots (Lot #3) by the Hyer Boot Company sold for $12,650, almost 4 times over their high estimate of $4,000.
2. $13,800 was achieved on this a bronze on marble base by Harry Jackson entitled Two Champs II (Lot #64) which was estimated at $5,000 to $7,000.
3. This G.S. Garcia eagle bit (Lot #10) sold for $8,050 (estimate $3,000 to $5,000)
4. Lot #153 this Bohlin Taxin Model silver and gold parade saddle brought $63,250 surpassing its $40,000 to $60,000 estimate.
5. This circa 1870 Blackfeet Tomahawk and Beaded Drop (Lot #135) was expected to achieve $20,000 on the high side but earned $37,950 after heated bidding from the floor and phones.
6. Lot #138, a circa 1860 Plateau Pony Beaded Shirt sold for solidly within estimate for $74,750.
7. This ornate Charro Jacket and Vest (Lot 196) accquired and personally worn by Edward Borein, was estimated at $5,000 to $10,000 but sold for over twice its high estimate going for $21,850.
8. Wild Horses, (Lot #230) this signed oil on board by Will James brought the highest price of the evening. Bidding on this work opened at $50,000 and quickly escalated to the final sale price to $149,500.
9. The original vest, shirt and scarf (Lot #172) worn by John Wayne in the original 1969 Paramount production of True Grit sold for $21,850.


The Autry National Center does it again, this time with electricity!

Autry Gala PhotosThe Autry National Center does it again, this time with electricity!

The best of the west stepped out in black-tie and rich Western regalia on October 2nd for the Autry Museum's Annual Fundraising Gala. Always a highlight on the Los Angeles social scene, this year's event was titled The Electric West Gala with electric guitar chandeliers adorning the walls and guests decked out in their rhinestone best!

In true Gala style, the dressed up crowd walked the cocktail reception, bid in the exciting silent auction, then headed to the elegant dinner catered by celebrity Wolfgang Puck. There they applauded as Merle Haggard accepted the Spirit of the West Award and bid on offerings including a one-of-a-kind Bohlin belt buckle designed specifically for the event by David Marold and a one-week vacation to a Scottish Castle. Caught Red Handed got everyone's toes tapping and the dancing began.

This is the Autry's largest fundraiser each year with proceeds from the event supporting their important education and outreach programs for children as well as fueling their art and artifact acquisition fund.

For more information about the Autry National Center, visit:

Top: Theresa Verrier of High Noon and Dwight Yoakum look like they are about to hit the dance floor!

Bottom: Melissa McCracken of Denver Old West gives Brian Lebel a big hug in support of the Autry National Center.

High Noon in Wall Street Journal, Antiques Designated as Officially Green

High Noon in the Wall Street Journal

In the September 9, 2010 issue of the Wall Street Journal, in an article entitled: “Riding High, The allure of all things equestrian has never been greater, as vintage saddle collectors pay record prices for unique models,” not only does High Noon take the limelight but the story confirms what we have always believed, there is a thirst and a burgeoning desire in this country and around the world for not only all things equestrian, but all things rooted in the rich heritage of the American West. On behalf of all of us at High Noon and the High Noon Family, we couldn't be more honored.

Antiques Designated as Officially Green

Illustration of Antique Spinning WheelLast June, Smoke Signals reported on the growing movement for the antiques to be designated as “Green.” Those of us in the “business” have always known the antiques trade is the oldest recycling system in the world and the ultimate in preserving our heritage for future generations. But now, after an extensive study by Clear Carbon, an independent agency specializing in carbon accounting and carbon management, antiques have now officially been determined as environmentally friendly. Across the board, antiques were found to have a lower carbon footprint than newly manufactured items with antique furniture topping that list with a carbon footprint 16 times lower than new.

The study also evaluated the manufacturing processes used to create these antique pieces versus the new manufacturing processes. The carbon emissions associated with the creation of antique pieces was extremely low if non-existent. Most work was done by hand, manually powered and in the daylight.

At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that antiques should be recognized for their genuine green hallmark for they are “sustainable, re-usable, and re-saleable. Buying antiques reduces landfills, reduces carbon emissions and reduces the consumption of new goods from abroad.”

For more information, visit

My Day at Santo Domingo Pueblo

Pueblo Dancing IndianMy Day at Santo Domingo Pueblo

By Lora Sandroni

On August 4, 2010, I attended my first feast day at the Santo Domingo Pueblo, about 20 minutes north of Albuquerque. The largest Indian dance ceremonial in the southwest is held during this feast day honoring Saint Dominic, with more than 1,000 Santo Domingo Pueblo Indians performing their colorful corn dance. This wonderful event is open to the non-native public and I was a fortunate observer that day in August.

The Santo Domingo Pueblo is one of the 19 pueblos in this area, 17 along the Rio Grande plus Zuni and Hopi. I knew very little about the pueblos and even less about their feast days. With no preconceived notions about what I might see or experience, my girlfriend and I started out early to avoid the heat of the day, enjoying the coolness and mist in the air. It was raining lightly when we arrived at the pueblo and I already had a sense of excitement.

Caked in chalk-like paint, elders of these Pueblo Indians lead the others carrying Saint Dominic down a dirt path towards the plaza, and the chanting and dancing began, continuing until sunset. The dance was a procession, with members of the tribe ranging from toddlers, school-age children, adolescents, middle-aged members, including the elderly. To my eye, they were all a vision of color, texture and design.

I noticed some very animated Pueblo Indians scurrying along the edges of the parade learning later they are called Kaoshare or clowns. They seemed to monitor all the dancers. I found out there are two groups of the Pueblo or Moieties, corn and turquoise. Thankfully, the groups change off during the day, as I could not imagine dancing for the entire day in that heat, but they continued as if the weather and heat were not an issue. All of the males wore the same traditional clothing...but they personalized their look with special pieces of jewelry. The females, too, all wore the same clothing, which they, too, adorned with exquisite personal jewelry.

My friend and I were invited to eat at the home of a local family, the matriarch known for creating beautiful inlaid jewelry. Her son makes sand cast pieces and some inlay work as well and I was lucky to own a few pieces made by him and acquired from him personally years ago. The pieces crafted by these family members are shown throughout the country at such museums as the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, the Heard Museum in Phoenix and the many museums in Santa Fe.

Aside from entering a world unique and mysterious to me, being a guest in this home allowed me to experience the graciousness and serenity of the family. The kitchen was filled with huge pots brimming with edibles that I could only guess least two dozen trays and plates of food adorned the table...posole, a kind of dried white corn kernel which tastes much better than it sounds, red chile stew, hand made chile rellenos, sauteed peppers and squash, home baked breads, fresh fruits, yogurts and cheeses, and piki bread (pale lavender in color and hand rolled to a thin filo dough consistency). All of this is served with absolutely no liquor. Instead there were drinks of juice, water, punch and coffee.

As a guest, it is traditional to bring a small gift of food...I brought a box of baked goods which the host quietly took, broke off a piece of a cookie, blessed it and then placed the entire plate of goods on the table. (I only observed part of this activity and am assuming that is what she did.)

People came and went in and out of the house. Everyone knew to go straight to the kitchen, eat and then get up to allow new guests to sit. The gathering around the table was eclectic: gringos like me, a man from his Colorado ranch who comes in every year, two ladies from Santa Fe who turned out to be my neighbors, many relatives of the family, as well as visitors from other pueblos.

The day became increasingly hot but we were pleased to find shelter under a tent specially designated for this family and friends. After eating, we enjoyed the shade and continued to observe the dancing and chanting until late in the afternoon until it was time to return home.

It is strictly prohibited to take photos in a pueblo. I was not sure of the exact reason but we were firmly advised not to do so by the tribal guides when we entered the grounds. Of course, it was an important ceremony so that was understandable. But I was so was such a visual feast! I imagine the no-photo policy might also have been to protect their cultural privacy or to avoid the commercialization of their images. This is only my guess. So attached to this article is a photo I retrieved from the internet and I want to be clear that their trust was not broken.

If you have the chance to come to this part of New Mexico, plan your visit around a feast day. There is a calendar of events when each Pueblo is open to the public and when this fascinating event can be shared. In January, San Ildefonso Pueblo celebrates their feast day with their Buffalo Dance. There are lots of celebrations held around the winter solstice and the New Year. I cannot imagine a more beautiful way to start off the new year, and cannot express how honored I was to celebrate this rich and beautiful day in the inner sanctum of the Indian culture.

All is well... – The Year of the American Indian

Roy Rogers' horse TriggerAll is well...

By Linda Kohn Sherwood

The phone calls, the distraught baby boomers, all declared that this was the end of the Roy Rogers legacy. The museum was closing and how could they hope to keep the era of moral clarity alive?

My announcement today is that all is well.  

I witnessed not only the throngs of Roy and Dale passionados stroll through our sale (High Noon's, held in conjunction with Christie's in New York), each and everyone of them with huge smiles on their faces, but afterwards, the smiles continue.

Marjorie, a retired homemaker widow, works a few days a month at Christies during their previews, helping with questions and showing material to prospective bidders. She returned on her day off with her grown son and daughter-in-law, who were mesmerized by the sale! They stayed for hours and talked about how it all connected to today's world!  

A young 17 year old arrived from Connecticut after begging her mother to bring her to the sale as a birthday gift. They arrived by bus and stayed 8 hours, to return that evening in order to save money on hotels. She took photos of every item, drank in every nuance. I asked her to write a story of her day and I would print it in our eMagazine Smoke Signals. She smiled the entire day and hopefully will write down her thoughts. Again, she was only 17!

Thousands of photographs were taken both in front of the tricked-out Nudie Bonneville and in front of Trigger in the vestibule. Three generations of families were in those photos: we of the older generations who grew up without a remote control on our televisions, the 30-somethings who had seen the re-runs we insisted they watch, and the little ones whose eyes were aglow with the images of a man on a rearing horse and a loving couple.  

People gawked at the row of boots in the sale. Gawking is a word reserved for superstars. But all eyes were on the boots, even the ones that Roy cut around the toes to give him a "scooch" more room.  

During the auction over two weeks ago Wednesday, Joseph and I worked at the telephone bidding desk. There were at least 20 of us making calls. While we were on the phone with people waiting to bid, we heard their stories. When they met Roy, when they heard Dale sing. When they met Dusty (Roy Jr) and how kind he was. And how many had now met Dustin, Roy's grandson, who looks remarkably like Roy.

At the end of the sale there was a huge sigh. The last piece consisted of two 6'x 8' foam core illustrations of the music and words to "Happy Trails". They sold for a stunning price of $22,000. Spontaneously the crowd stood and sang the song. Possibly every person in the room sang off-tune but together, it created a magnificent melody.

So is it over? I'm here to tell you it is not. The closing of a museum will not deter the sentiment and values reflected by Roy and Dale. Instead the seeds of values and passion will now be spread and planted all over the US. Children from all walks of life and zip codes will be exposed like they have never been before. The plants will be tended by us new caretakers and blossom everywhere.

Since the auction, I have spoken with the man who purchased Trigger and Bullet and to the woman who bought Nellybelle. They have been inundated with phone calls and emails of warm congratulations. They are now some of the new curators of the legacy. Trigger and Bullet will live at RFD-TV station in Omaha, with programming centered around ranch and country life. Dusty and Dustin and their band The High Riders will be playing both Roy's and their own music. RFD-TV is talking about taking Trigger on the road, to rodeos and gatherings, for all to enjoy. Pam Weidel, a world renowned breeder of Arabian race horses and endurance horses from New Jersey, went home with Nellybelle. She plans on keeping it in the museum of businessman John B. Haines IV, in Pennsburg, PA.

Dusty made his last, heartfelt speech to the crowds and the last tears were shed. The auction was over, the sales room was packed up and carted away, the seeds to be shipped throughout the United States to all the new curators. With each piece goes a shard of the legacy that will be handed down both publicly and privately, to all those who sing Happy Trails in their heads when they do a good turn for their neighbor and hold their families close.

Check out photos of the event on High Noon Western Americana's Facebook page and feel the love!


High Noon Celebrates
The Year of The American Indian

High Noon is excited to announce that in 2011, we will be celebrating The Year of the American Indian. Through the powerful art and artifacts that remain today, join us as we trace the history from the more than 560 tribes that created the backbone of this land.

Indian Beaded Baby CarrierTheir culture, spirit and endurance are deeply woven into each of our lives, and High Noon is committed to ensuring their legacy lives on in strength. By sharing knowledge of who they were and promoting who they will become, the influence of the American Indian, historic to contemporary, will continue to thrive and grow even stronger.

High Noon is very excited to announce that our January 29th, 2011 auction will feature some of the most important American Indian art and artifacts to ever come to market. Sioux, Plateau, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Blackfoot and more will be represented at this important event.

Over the next several months, High Noon invites all of our family to share their knowledge, stories, photos and their treasures from these powerful nations. It's through this sharing that we can all grow in spirit, helping to pass their legacy onto our future generations.

In celebration of the Year of the American Indian, High Noon is pleased to offer this Cheyenne Beaded Baby Carrier, c. 1880 at their upcoming January 29, 2011 auction in Mesa, AZ.

A Legacy Lives On...

A Legacy Lives On...


July 14-15, 2010

New York - High Noon announces the final sale featuring the remarkable collection from the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum on July 14 and 15 in association with Christie's. The auction, with no reserves, will include over 300 iconic lots from suits by Nudie the Tailor, saddles, personal photos, awards, the famous Nellybelle jeep from the 1950s TV Show, to arguably, the most famous horse of all time, Trigger. This historic sale will pay tribute to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans who will always remain renowned for their wholesome and caring treatment of their family, friends, and fans.

Auction: Property from the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum July 14-15
Viewing: Christie's Rockefeller Galleries July 9- July 14

Highlights from the sale include:

Roy Rogers Auction PhotosTRIGGER (1934-1965)
Entertaining the masses so thoroughly for over two decades, Roy Rogers and Trigger were one of America's most recognizable duos, becoming instant classics in people's eyes, hearts and imaginations. Trigger also reached legendary status in his own right, and is undeniably one of the most memorable horses that ever lived.
Estimate: $100,000-200,000

Beginning with a stock 1964 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible, Nudie removed all traces of the original interior material and carpeting, replacing it with exquisitely hand-tooled leather. Then came the application of hundreds of genuine collectible silver dollars, along with chrome-plated pistols, horseshoes, miniature horses and rifles.
Estimate: 100,000-150,000

A pair of bronzed eagle boots, laced tops and pulls, mounted
Estimate: $3,000-4,000

Saddle on Trigger Jr.
Edward H. Bohlin's "TAXIN" model black, floral carved silver and gold mounted parade saddle with three-dimensional gold rodeo scenes on the corners including bareback riders, bronc busters, bulldoggers, calf ropers and steerheads. Round figural horsehead conchos on the corners and around the perimeter.
Estimate: $100,000-150,000

A group of black and white photographs of Dusty and Linda with Roy and Dale, framed (48).
Estimate: $400-600

Comprising a silver, rhinestone buttoned shirt, a purple gabardine cropped single button vest and skirt with silver leather spurs and stars theme, embellished with rhinestones throughout, the skirt finished in leather fringe, unlabeled (3).
Estimate: $500-1,000

The hand drawn music and lyrics to Happy Trails, mounted on foam core board and signed Kathleen Manning Cooley and David P. Combs.
Estimate: $300-500

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
Nicknamed "The King of the Cowboys," Roy Rogers, born Leonard Franklin Slye, is an enduring icon of American culture. A two-time inductee into Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame, Roy Rogers along with The Sons of the Pioneers had a syndicated radio show, and recorded 32 songs for Decca Records before going on to appear in over 100 films and star in the television hit The Roy Rogers Show. Nicknamed "Queen of the West," Dale Evans, married Roy Rogers in 1947 and starred alongside her husband in The Roy Rogers Show from 1951 to 1957. In addition to her successful TV shows, more than thirty films and some two hundred songs, Evans wrote the well-known song "Happy Trails." Role models and heroes to boys and girls, men and women, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans will live on in the hearts and memories of many.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum - Branson, Missouri
On December 12, 2009, The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum closed its legendary doors after nearly four decades. Embraced by fans all over the world, the museum was deeply personal and displayed family photos dating back to Roy and Dale's childhood. It also included colorful costumes, parade saddles, memorabilia from the silver screen and television, artifacts from Roy's real-life safari adventures, tributes to his friends and sidekicks, pictures from the early days of The Sons of the Pioneers, and an assortment of artifacts meaningful to Roy and Dale. Among the most popular exhibits were Roy's trusty horse Trigger, his loyal dog Bullet, and Dale's buckskin horse, Buttermilk*, all previously displayed for fans in the Branson Museum.

Please note that High Noon Western Americana, in conjunction with the Rogers family, did try to place Trigger, Buttermilk and Bullet with a national museum, so that they could be enjoyed by all fans. However, the recession has left most institutions struggling to maintain their staffs let alone expand their permanent collections.

About High Noon
For over 20 years, High Noon has served as the nation's catalyst for the rich and exuberant Western Americana market, the arts created during this vibrant time in American history plus the works from today's Western artists and artisans have been catapulted to the forefront in the world of collecting and investing. High Noon is the nation's definitive resource for information, historical perspectives and market valuations for all that encompasses this collecting genre. From fine art to Native American works to saddles to Western Hollywood memorabilia, High Noon is your window into this celebrated world.

About Christie's
Christie's, the world's leading art business had global auction and private sales in 2009 that totaled £2.1 billion/$3.3 billion. Christie's is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie's offers over 450 sales annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $80 million. Christie's has 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salesrooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie's has led the market with expanded initiatives in emerging and new markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai. *All auction sales figures include premium.

*Estimates do not include buyer's premium
Images available on request
Visit Christie's Web site at

High Noon & Christie's Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Museum Sale

Auction CoverIn just 30 days, High Noon blazes into New York with the most extraordinary auction! - The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum Collection -
Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of our American heritage!

July 14-15th, 2010 - Manhattan, NYC- High Noon & Christie's Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Museum Sale  - The definitive and final sale of all other property including the most important and iconic pieces from the museum will be sold via a partnership with High Noon and Christie's New York City.

That sale will include silver parade saddles, Roy's autographed sports memorabilia, costuming (Nudie's clothing, hats, boots, traveling trunks), personal photos, fishing gear, badges, toys, trophies and awards. Highlights include the family dining table hand made by George Montgomery, Dale Evans' charm bracelet chronicling 40 years, legendary silver dollar and longhorn adorned Nudies of North Hollywood convertible Bonneville that Roy and Dale used in special appearances, the famous Nellybelle jeep from the 1950s TV Show and, arguably, the most famous horse of all time, Trigger.

( ( or call High Noon (310) 202-9010 for more information and updated information and photos.

Brian Lebel's Old West Show & Auction

Weekend event offers 3 days of Western shopping and 1 historic auction

Old West Show & Auction LogoBrian Lebel's Old West Show & Auction fills the Denver Merchandise Mart's Expo building this June 25-27, 2010 for its 21st annual celebration of the arts and antiques of the American West. This year's Saturday night auction will include select items from the Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Museum Collection in addition to other fine Cowboy, Indian and Western art and artifacts. The Show runs Friday through Sunday and features Western dealers, artists and craftsmen selling their best antique and contemporary merchandise. Admission to the show is $5; the auction and auction preview are free.

Show Highlights, June 25-27, 2010
This is the show's second year at the Denver Merchandise Mart, a venue that has allowed the event to grow in size and scope since relocating from Cody, WY. The Old West Show now boasts approximately 200 dealers specializing in an impressive and eclectic collection of antiques, art, apparel, jewelry, furnishings, collectibles, firearms, custom gear, cowboy trappings, books, boots and more. A Friday night gallery-walk/cocktail party kicks-off the weekend festivities and other special events are in the works.

Auction Highlights, June 26, 2010
Fine art offerings from this year's auction include past and present Cowboy Artists of America members such as John Moyers, Bill Nebeker, Mehl Lawson, Nicholas Firfires, Joe Beeler, and Nick Eggenhofer. Additional artists of note include Charlie Russell, Maynard Dixon, Will James, Edward Borein, Howard Post, Joe De Yong, Ace Powell, Marjorie Reed and George Brandriff. Also included will be items from the Richard Flood collection.

Native American artifacts at auction include a number of fine examples of 19th century Northern Plains beadwork (many with American flag motifs), Navajo silver bridles, clothing and textiles. Historic and collectible firearms are represented by the Roy Rogers' collection, but also by an important Henry Rifle with history from Maine to Arizona Territory.

The Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Museum pieces include Roy's gun collection, his hunting memorabilia and safari trophies, clothing and photos, as well as his classic 1964 Lincoln convertible and his last motorcycle. Additional information on the auction, including highlights, bidding options, catalog orders and breaking news can all be found at

Not Just One Trick Poney

The Best Trick Riders in the World to Captivate Fort Worth in a Very Special Event —

Not Just One Trick Pony

Ft. Worth, TX — On April 10, 2010, the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth will play host to the most celebrated female trick riders in the world. The event, entitled Not Just One Trick Pony is being produced by the Cowgirl University wing of the National Cowgirl Museum to celebrate these dynamic and daring women who still practice the dying art of trick riding.

You’ll know you’re in the presence of a true cowgirl at the Fort Worth Stockyards Arena when Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree Mitzi Lucas Riley shares her stories and techniques behind some of the best trick riding in the world. The daughter of Tad Lucas, Mitzi was born into rodeo. Learning to ride before she could walk, Mitzi made her debut at six, filling in for her injured mother in a trick-riding act. A daring rider, she routinely turned down offers from Hollywood, while performing in rodeos coast to coast for twenty years. Retired from rodeo, Mitzi served on the board of the Rodeo Historical Society, establishing the Tad Lucas Award to recognize outstanding women in rodeo.

Ms. Riley will be joined by the fabulous equestrian drill team Trish Lynn and the All American Cowgirl Chicks who will demonstrate the maneuvers that have made them world famous.

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame honors and celebrates women, past and present, whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience, and independence that helped shape the American West, and fosters an appreciation of the ideals and spirit of self-reliance they inspire. Each year, the Museum sponsors a three-day weekend women’s retreat they call Cowgirl University. Held at a different ranch location each year, this event is designed to help women find their “inner cowgirl.”

For more information about the exciting event, Not Just One Trick Pony, please visit or call the National Cowgirl Museum at (800) 476-FAME (3263)

A Movie That Needs to be Made

A Movie That Needs to be Made
Figure of Eight - The Ride of a Lifetime

The powerful relationship between man and his horse is at the very core of our Western American heritage. It's this relationship that built the West and continues to be at the root of sustaining this heritage today.

Currently in the development is a movie that illuminates the ongoing role horses still play in the Western Lifestyle and the preservation of the land and its resources within which we co-exist with these magnificent animals.

Figure of Eight - The Ride of a Lifetime is a race to save one family's land from a logging baron determined to clear-cut. It's this 200 mile horse endurance race that will be the deciding factor in whether the family can save it's ranch, timber and honor or whether the government and big business prevail.

This is an important issue today as ranchers and farmers fight to save their land from development. It's an important story about how, even today, people and horses work together to fight to save their environment and their dreams.

For more information about this project visit

Ron Smith Killed in Auto Accident

Ron SmithRon Smith

Just over a week ago, our beloved High Noon family member, Ron Smith, was tragically struck and killed in a car accident in Maricopa County. Ron was just 62 years old. A tire on his camper had blown and he was out on the highway clearing the debris from the road. At his side, in the cab, waiting for his return, was his favorite pal, dog Sheila. It was dark and an oncoming vehicle did not see him in the road and he was struck and killed instantly. Even more tragic, the driver of the vehicle was a retired firefighter. He immediately attempted to save Ron but to no avail. Upon hearing the news, long time friend Bud Callahan went to the scene where Sheila was found sad, but safe.

Ron's life was a reflection of the man whose integrity and tenacity will be remembered by all who knew him. A Vietnam veteran, he went on to befriend many including Indians from various Trading Posts in New Mexico. In the 1970s, Ron and his dad capitalized on the Squash Blossom craze. They saw an opportunity and struck a deal with May Department Stores to be their primary supplier to stores across the county. At one point, they had over 250 Indian jewelers making Squash Blossoms to fill their orders. They bought a private plane and would fly from city to city delivering and showing the jewelry at May Stores from Denver to Washington D C.

Following this adventure, Ron opened Adobe Walls in Colorado Springs. What started as a tiny shop grew to an over 10,000 square foot mall and social center for Indian and Western Collectors. In 2007, he opened Adobe Walls Trading Company in Florence, CO.

Ron was going to celebrate his 20th anniversary with High Noon in 2010, and he was really excited about it. He was going to have his first booth...a big 8x20 filled with showcases. It was such a big deal for him, that he wouldn't make any decisions, even about the paper color, without input from his friend, Bud. Mike Graham described Ron as the Guru or Hub of the Cowboy and Indian trading community here. His good humor and kindness will be missed by us all.

Ron leaves a daughter Trisha Smith and son Kerry Smith along with three grandchildren Tanner, Weston and Oakley. Our hearts ache with the family and all his friends.

Fraud Alert!

We all know there is one scam after another targeted to those of us who sell merchandise via the web. Here is one I hadn’t heard of before and thought it was important to share. The more savvy we are to the methods being used to defraud merchants, the safer everyone will be.

This just happened to our October Inner Cowgirl, Denice Langley, Denice Langley Designs. A few weeks ago, she received an inbound email inquiry regarding pricing on several of her purses and belts from a buyer in Dubai. Several emails back and forth later, the number of purses and belts was finalized as well as pricing. The total for the merchandise was agreed upon and the buyer was going to arrange a wire transfer directly into her account. Once the wire transfer was received, the products would be shipped.

Denice went to her bank and opened a new account specifically for the purpose of accepting the transfer. The buyer said the transfer had been done. After a few days, the money still had not shown up but her bank said this was not unusual do to time/date differences and international banking.

Then, instead of a wire transfer appearing, the bank received, via FedEx, a cashier’s check from the buyer. The check was made payable for the wrong amount — almost twice the amount that was requested. Again, the bank said this was not that unusual with money crossing into US dollars. What was unusual, that the bank officer immediately noticed, was that the check, which required two signatures, only had one.

Denice contacted the buyer in Dubai via email saying that she had received the check but that it was for in excess of almost $15,000. The buyer greatly apologized for the error and said to just deposit the check and wire the overpayment back to them.

Thanks to the bank’s diligence and role to protect their customers, in this case Denice Langley, they said they would refuse to deposit the check as they new it was fake or bad. Had the bank not worked so closely with Denice on this, she may have deposited the check and, trustingly, returned the overpayment only to find out there was never any funds behind the fake check. The decision was made to send the check back to Dubai (or wherever it really came from).

Small independent business merchants are particular targets for this kind of criminal activity. None of us want to live always looking over our shoulders or suspecting the worst instead of the best. The reality is, these scams come in from everywhere. Always keep your eyes open!

See You In Facebook!

See You On Facebook!
The New High Noon
Social Networking Site

Facebook LogoFirst it was worldwide air travel that seemed to make the world smaller and allow us to connect in our business and our personal lives with people across the country and around the globe. This paled in comparison to how the Internet then took us by storm and allowed us to expand our businesses and personal relationships via e-mail and websites. And now, the definitive next phase in marketing and networking has taken the world by storm - social networking, the phrase we all hear over and over again.

In the beginning, these social networking sites such as Facebook seemed to be just fun sites to re-connect with long lost friends and keep in touch with new ones. Well, that's not the case anymore. Social networks sites have become a driving force in commerce. From the mega-corps like IBM to the small, locally owned neighborhood restaurant, the social networking sites have become the new and powerful window to the world. They have created virtual communities and connected people worldwide with like interests and goals. It was stunning to us how, shortly after our Smoke Signal's June article on "Antiques Are Green" a flood of requests to join the "Antiques are Green" movement on the social networking site Linked-In came in. Since then, we've connected with antiquers around the world who are part of this on-line organization. This is just a small sample of how powerful these sites can be in maintaining and growing your businesses.

Social networking sites are collections or communities of people sharing information and communicating online. Members of these networks actively support each other, share questions and concern and ultimately, create a wonderful synergy for the world we live in.

Those of us interested in Western Americana need to stick together. We come together each year at the annual High Noon Show & Auction and the Denver Show & Auction, but are left on our own the rest of the year. Wouldn't it be great to have someone to go to when you have a question? To have other people to talk with about your interests? To have the opportunity to share your expertise with others in a forum discussion? To connect with collectors or customers through social networks? Maybe even make a deal?

It is the goal of High Noon to create a support community for collectors, buyers and sellers of Western Americana. We offer a variety of resources including our website, the Show & Auction, Smoke Signals, and now, Social Networking.

High Noon has created a Facebook page and we strongly encourage you to join (it's free) and become part of this burgeoning group of collectors and fans of Western Americana. In addition, you will find updates about the show and auction and links to pertinent articles and videos. Send in and share your own photos of artifacts, activities and friends!

Become our Facebook friend today by visiting our page at:
See you on Facebook!

High Noon launches their new Website

Your Window to the Western World • Lovely to Look At • Easy To Use

Our goal is to be your window to everything that encompasses the world of Western Lifestyle. We hope that you will take advantage of all the new features, links and information that is now at your fingertips. We also hope some of the kitschy little nuances we’ve added will make you smile! On each page, take a minute to enjoy the ever changing photos of our High Noon family and events – you might even see yourself!

New Website Home PageNew Features and Updated Existing resources:

  • Smoke Signals Archives – The response to our new monthly e-magazine is getting national attention. Missed an issue? Want to refer to a previous story? Have a story you want to submit or a recipe you are dying to share? The new Smoke Signals section is your one-stop resource for that.
  • The High Noon Team – Want to know Who We Are or Who to Contact? This is the place to look.
  • Biographies of Artists and Artisans – your High Noon “Wikipedia” of information
  • A comprehensive Travel Page for Mesa
  • Show Dealer Forms, Maps and Info in downloadable PDFs
  • A new Media/Press Section which keeps you up to date on all advertising and press information about our January event
  • Updated information and bidder registration for our new Online Auction Partner iCollector

HAVE A WEBSITE? JOIN THE HIGH NOON WEB DIRECTORY! For those of you who have a website, we invite you to submit your web address for our ever growing Directory of Western Lifestyle. Let High Noon help you reach people you may not have reached before. With so much daily traffic to our site, your exposure will greatly increase. In return, we ask that you put on your website. To submit your web address for the directory, email: Subject line: submission for Web Directory.

COMING SOON! – THE WORLD OF SOCIAL NETWORKING! Every day, the social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube become more critical in our marketing and outreach to the world. With links to all of these sites right on our website, you can expand your outreach by networking with us reaching a world previously impossible to reach.

We have had fun creating our new website and we hope you enjoy it! Check back frequently as more and more changes are yet to come.

The Fight to be "Seen as Green" continues

The fight to be "seen as green" continues

By Jayne Skeff

Jayne SkeffIn this week's issue of the UK's Antiques Trade Gazette ( there was a wonderful story about how the whole field of antique restoration is joining the fight and specifically focused on how restorers will begin to play a more important role than ever in antiques being seen as green.

The opening paragraph read: "Antiques Are Green is the message being shouted from the rooftops by the industry in the UK this year. And as the public becomes increasingly aware of the quality bargains to be had at auction as a result, restorers will play a more important role than ever before." (Antiques Trade Gazette, July 25, 2009).

To that end, restorers in the UK have formed an organization whose acronyms R.A.R.E. (Recycle, Auction, Re-finish, End product) advocate for the benefits of buying at auction and then using restorers to bring out the best of their antiques purchases.

Sustainability and style go hand in hand as restorers work to be integrally involved in not just purchases at auction but tired pieces in your own homes, mirrors that need re-silvering... the list goes on and the cycle of recycle continues. And antiques just get greener and greener.

News on this side of the pond for the fight to be seen as green? The first show of its kind, the Revolutionary Green Meets Green Expo will debut in San Diego in January 2010. To be held at the San Diego County Fairgrounds, one exhibition hall will feature a large general line antiques show and the adjacent exhibition hall will feature the 21st century versions of green from autos to bamboo baby blankets. Old meets new in a cooperative effort to save our planet.

As antiquers, we are doing our part and have been for years. Just another reason to be very proud of what we do.

For those of you who are "LinkedIn" there is an international group of antiques dealers networked in this movement. The club on "LinkedIn" is called "Antiques Are Green". For information about becoming part of this "LinkedIn" organization, please email me at

If you are not a member of LinkedIn, getting networked is free at

Get ready Denver 'cause here comes the Cody Old West Show & Auction!

Get ready Denver 'cause here comes the Cody Old West Show & Auction!

Cody BrochureWhen Brian Lebel, Director of the Cody Old West Show and Auction, made the decision to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this exciting event by moving it to Denver, he not only changed locations, he took the challenge and recreated this event making it bigger and better then ever. Watch out Denver - here comes the most amazing Western Show and Auction(s) (yup, there are two auctions) to ever grace the Rocky Mountains!

And how do you come into town with a new event and make sure it's a smashing success? You do what Brian has done, come in with both barrels loaded, tumbleweed flying - advertising from billboards to print - allying yourself with the city movers and shakers - and making yourself indispensable to the Denver Art Museum, home to the Petrie Institute of Western American Art. Well done, Brian!

The weekend event kicks-off on Thursday evening, June 25th, with a dealer and guest reception hosted by the galleries in the trendy "LoDo" district of Denver.

The show, which opens on Friday, June 26th and runs through Sunday, June 28th, has had a waiting list of dealers for months. This year, the attendees will see many new faces including a whole new group of artisans from across the country specializing in exquisite furnishings for home and lodge. Over 200 dealers in all will fill the Denver Merchandise Mart with everything from the finest Western Americana antiques, art, Cowboy and Native American trappings.

Navajo WeaverA very special guest at the show will be premier Navajo weaver Mary H. Yazzie. On Saturday and Sunday, she will be demonstrating her hand carding and spinning techniques which she uses to create her works of art - her rugs.

The first of the auctions to take place will be a Western American Art Auction on Friday, June 26th, (6:30 pm) to benefit the Denver Art Museum Acquisition Fund. Over 150 works will be offered. A separate catalog is available for this sale for $12.

The "big daddy" auction will go off on Saturday evening, June 27th at 5pm and wow, what a sale this will be. Bigger and more important than ever, over 500 lots will come to the block including two of the most important Main & Winchester saddles to ever be offered and historic items from the personal estate of Annie Oakley. Art from Will James to Remington, rare Colt firearms, the finest Native American offerings...the list goes on. The catalog itself is a walk through American Western history. (Catalog is available for $30)

From all of us at High Noon, "CONGRATULATIONS BRIAN!" We can't wait for it all to start and we will be there with boots on!

For all the info on the Cody Old West Show and Auction(s), visit

Auction Buyers: If you want to purchase for resale, be sure to remember to bring your resale license. The State of Colorado requires it.

Danny Verrier - On the road back with a vengeance!

Some People Will Do Anything For Cards, Flowers and Phone Calls...

Danny Verrier - On the road back with a vengeance!

There likely wasn't anyone in our High Noon family who didn't stop in their tracks when they received the news that our Danny had had a stroke. No, not Danny! He's Danny Takes a Walkmagnanimous, larger than life - he's invincible. Well, as we all learn at some point, much as we may think we're invincible - oops, we're not, and that's okay too. But, what's even more okay than our non-invincibility is that Danny is on the road to a stunningly quick recovery (no, surprise there - he's not known for his patience). And speaking of patients, one can only imagine that the RN's who cared for him during his hospital stay will never forget him...

Prognosis? 100% recovery. He's already spending time each day in the office (can't keep a wild and crazy man down). The remainder of his day is spent with his fabulous wife Theresa who, shortly after his return home, had him practicing casting that fishing reel. They take walks, they go to the park, they play catch ...things we should all do with those we love for absolutely no reason at all other than to just enjoy it. A good reminder about what's really important in life.

We love you Danny and we promise we'll pay more attention to you so you don't have to go acting out like this☺

The Buckarettes release their third and most powerful CD yet!

Taking The World By Storm With "Cowgirl Serenade"

The Buckarettes release their third and most powerful CD yet!

The Buckarettes and Theresa Verrier, one of their biggest fansSoulful, rich harmonies, romantic ballads, and kick-up-your-heels Western swing, the amazing Buckarettes are music to High Noon’s ears… It’s the collaboration of Katie Gill, Debra Jean Parker, Susan Clark, Amy Blackburn and Gary Roller that bring people to their feet in applause, captivated by their music and vocals. These fabulous gals and token guy Gary who tolerates these kick-a… women rock the High Noon Show and Auction each year and we couldn’t imagine an event without them.

We are so proud to announce that they have just released their third and most powerful CD to date. Cowgirl Serenade is filled with reminiscent and “lust in the dust” songs which so strongly illuminates their depth and passion for Western ballads. If you liked them before you’re going to love them now! Buckarettes performing at the 2009 High Noon Show in PhoenixIn just a few short weeks following the release of Cowgirl Serenade they hit the #2 spot in popularity in the Album Category of Western Music & Swing Magazine and the song Slowpoke hit #2 as well in the Top 10 Song Category – you gals rock – or shall we should say swing!

It began eleven years ago when Katie Gill and Debra Jean (DJ) Parker got together to play some cowgirl music at DJ’s son’s elementary school. They had so much fun they decided to take the idea a bit further — and a bit further they did. They first wrangled in Susan Clark and Amy Blackburn, then added rich vocals, fiddles, keyboard and the big sound of string bass of Gary Roller, creating their award winning sound which today is in demand across the West as well as on radio stations in Germany, France, England, Buckarettes Cowbirl Serenade CDAustralia and Japan. They regularly perform in concert and dance venues in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, receiving rave reviews wherever they go.

Each of these amazing women is an artist, musician and songwriter committed to creating the best and most infectious music, which has you tapping your toes, smiling from ear to ear and up dancing even if you don’t dance.

For more information on the Buckarettes, their upcoming performance schedule and to buy their new CD Cowgirl Serenade, visit their website at

We at High Noon can’t wait until next January when the Buckarettes will rock Mesa and the High Noon weekend again!

Tyler Crow - Cowboy Artist

A Look to the Future: We All Will Say "We Knew Him When..."

Tyler Crow - Cowboy Artist

While the saying goes “there are only two things certain in life —death and taxes,” we at High Noon would like to add a third — that Tyler Crow will be one of the preeminent Cowboy artists of America.

Tyler was dearly missed by so many of us this year in Phoenix. Over the past few years, his young infectious charm and enthusiasm lit up the show as he spent his time working with Jacquie Smiley and Justin Walker, talking to people, learning the business and sketching amazing drawings of life as a cowboy.

Tyler couldn’t fit the Phoenix show into his schedule this year but with good reason — one that we just have to share. Tyler, now 19, was busy studying art under the direction of Bruce Greene and Martin Grelle. Tyler’s talent came to the attention of these two masters after winning Frank Lucas’ Congressional Art Contest which placed his drawing on exhibit at the US Capitol and a subsequent award that had his work displayed at the National Cowboy Museum.

In speaking with Tyler, he admits to having been quite intimidated at the thought of being mentored by Grelle and Greene. His dedication and determination to learn and become the best artist he could holds strong. After a very short time on sabbatical training under Bruce Greene at his home in Norse, Texas, he transformed from sketch artist to painter. In an interview with Western Horseman Magazine in January, Green is quoted as saying “I’ve never seen anyone progress so quickly.” “He made huge strides in just weeks.”

Now, Tyler paints everyday, always working on a piece that reflects his true passion, the real life of today’s American cowboy. Tyler’s work has already earned exciting results at a local Oklahoma auction. While his next goal is set on exhibiting at the prestigious Pris de West Invitational Art Exhibition, we at High Noon await the day when perhaps his work will grace the front of our auction catalog, a substantial hammer will drop on his entry, and yes, he will be smiling.  All the while we will feel honored to have “known him when…”

Bob Coronato Exhibits at "Masters of the American West"

Bob Coronato Exhibits at "Masters of the American West" at The Autry Museum, Los Angeles

Bob Coronato missed our Phoenix show and auction this year but he had the most honorable of excuses. Bob was invited to participate in the Autry National Center’s renowned annual “Masters of the American West” Fine Art Exhibition and Sale, which opened on Saturday, February 7th in Los Angeles, CA.

This was the first time Bob was invited and he was completely “humbled by the experience,” as only 75 artists are invited to participate each year. “I received this wonderful invitation a year ago and spent the better part of the last 12 months working on the three paintings I created specifically for this sale.”

The three works Bob created are entitled: Crow Family Reunion, Where Does A Cowboy Go When There’s No More Range To Ride, and Riding Blood Brother – I Thought I Got On Backwards Because I Never Saw His Head.  All three of these paintings reflect Bob’s passion for keeping the lifestyle of the remote and free West alive.

It is with great pride that we are able to report that Crow Family Reunion sold for $35,000 at the opening evening reception. His other two works will remain on exhibit through the duration of the “Masters of the American West” which runs through March 8, 2009. We encourage everyone to go to the Autry Museum to see this magnificent display of fine Western art, which is so important to all of us.

From all of us at High Noon, we wish Bob the warmest congratulations!
For information on Masters of the American West visit the Autry Museum’s website at

For more information about Bob Coronato with samples of his works please visit: (he has his own website but isn’t very fond of it).



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