Denver Merchandise Mart, Denver, CO
This story was featured in the June 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art June 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art June 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
On Friday, June 21, Brian Lebel’s Old West Show opens at the Denver Merchandise Mart. Celebrating its 24th year, the show brings together over 200 dealers offering an extensive selection of the finest western goods and artifacts, including western fine art, antique and contemporary tack and trappings, Old West memorabilia, antique firearms, Native American textiles, and more.
The Old West Show opens to the general public at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday at 3 p.m. Admission is $5 per day. This year the show plays host to the National Bit, Spur, and Saddle Collectors Association “Mark of the Makers” contest for contemporary artists of cowboy crafts. “We have always maintained that fine art is more than flat art and bronzes,” notes Brian Lebel, president of the Old West Show. “A finely crafted saddle is as much a piece of fine art as an oil painting.”
The big event of the weekend is the Old West Auction, at which over 300 lots of western art and artifacts go on the block. The auction, which begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday evening, is free and open to the public. This year’s highlights include items from the personal collection of Clayton Moore—the original TV Lone Ranger—as well as a restored 1870s cigar-store Indian, militaria and documents from notable Mexican general Juan Jaime, and a quillwork Native American war shirt. Among the fine-art offerings are E. Irving Couse’s INDIAN BOY AT SPRING, which is estimated to sell for $100,000 to $120,000, Bill Anton’s Taking off the Chill estimated at $20,000 to $25,000, and eight fresh-to-market, signed and numbered woodblock lithographs from Elmer Schooley, including a rare oversized print of only three copies. There will also be pieces by William Matthews, Michael Coleman, Ramon Kelley, Bill Schenck, and Tim Cox.
Lebel stresses that the show and auction have something for every price range. “Many people are intimidated by the auction process, or they feel that there’s nothing that they want or can afford. If only I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, ‘If I knew it would sell that cheap, I’d have registered to bid!’” —Laura Rintala
Featured in the June 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art June 2013 digital download
Southwest Art June 2013 print issue
Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
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