We have always had a fascination for the early west and American cowboy. Cisco’s collection includes period pieces, which are representative of the times from the early fair-trade, through the Civil War, Indian Wars, and the American Cowboy in the last quarter of the 19th and first quarter of the 20th centuries. That collection includes guns, blades, gambling, saddles, horse tack, bits, spurs, cuffs, chaps, southwest religious items and more.
A good looking horse and saddle was the mark of wealth in the West. Whether a beat up cowboy saddle or a sharp silver parade saddle, the quality of a man’s saddle and his leather accoutrements wasn’t unlike the difference between a beater of a car and an exotic import. Cisco’s collection includes old cowboy saddles by major makers, chaps, both marked and unmarked; shotguns; batwings and woolies – decorative to serious. We also have a fine collection of decorated cowboy cuffs, rawhide riatas, and saddle bags.See Cowboy Saddles, Chaps, & Cuffs >>
Like the leather goods, bits, spurs, and bridles are not only functional, but also show off the cowboy and his horse. Major makers of bits and spurs can be very collectible. Bridles of both cowboys and Indians depict varying cultural styles. Bits, spurs, and Bridles from the southwest have a Mexican or Spanish influence which is a contrast from those used in the North by cowboys or cavalry. Cisco’s has a good inventory of bits, both maker-marked and prison; spurs, old cowboy to serious makers; and horsehair bridles, both old and contemporary, most from Deer Lodge Prison.
Frontier towns were rugged, untamed, often lawless places full of adventure seekers who had left the relative safety of the East to find both fame and fortune. Naturally the usual vices followed: drinking, gambling, and prostitution. In the heyday of the gold rush and westward expansion (1850-1910), recreational facilities such as saloons, brothels, and gambling halls would appear almost overnight. Whether in the decadence of brick buildings and long wooden saloon bars, or in far out cowboy camps, indiscriminate entertainment was part of why the West to be known as the ‘Wild West’.
Cisco’s focuses on Old West gambling, including roulette wheels and tables, all types of gambling devices, wheels from small to large, chips, cards, drinking flasks, and posters – all historic and of the heyday period. Old ‘boarder’ and brothel items are also included in this category.
From flintlocks through lever-actions, this collection includes early American fort guns, market guns, military guns, and the great “equalizers” of the West. For many, owning a gun was as common as owning a horse – a tool for harvesting game and instilling order in an untamed frontier. The 19th century was a period of rapid innovation, and the development of the repeating rifle is a classic example. In a matter of 15 short years technology advanced rifles from black powder single shots to slick Winchester Yellowboy lever actions. Such rapid innovation left an evolution of now rare and collectible rifles along the way – the Volcanic, the Henry, the Sharps, the Spencer, and the Winchester Yellowboy. Cisco’s specialty is in the rare and unique, but also in guns with character and a look of use.
Blades played their role in forming the West. More important to the Native Americans than the beads and mirrors were the first steel arrowheads, knives and lance heads traded by the French and Spanish. Knives, either purchased or handmade, were important to the everyday survival of the mountain men, trappers and frontiersmen. Swords have always played an important part in battle from the Indian Wars to the Civil War. The Cisco’s collection includes a sample of both knives and swords.
A room in Cisco’s is devoted to what were devotional relics including antique crucifixes, Santos, ritablos, candlesticks and home shrines, mostly with a focus on the Southwest, however inclusive worldwide.