Brian Lebel's 2023 Cody Old West Show & Auction slated for June 23-25

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Brian Lebel's 2023 Cody Old West Show & Auction slated for June 23-25
Mid-1800s Native American painted-hide shield with central image of bird figure flanked by images of human heads, animals and crosses. Sinew-wrapped horsehair drops across top quarter. This example is of a type that would have been used in battle for protection. Size: 18in diameter, 3in deep.

SANTA FE, NM.- Buyers, sellers, collectors, and enthusiasts of Western and Native American memorabilia, or anyone who is just discovering this red-hot collecting category, should mark their calendars for June 23-25. Those are the dates for Brian Lebel’s 33rd annual Cody Old West Show & Auction, to be held in the Santa Fe Community Convention Center at 201 West Marcy Street in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Both the weekend dealer show and the Saturday night auction will be packed with authentic Western fine art and antiques, collectibles, apparel, Native American artifacts, home decor, jewelry, cowboy trappings, horse gear, books, Hollywood memorabilia, boots, hats, furniture and more. The extensive array of show and auction merchandise encompasses antique, vintage and modern items, and spans all price points.

“Because of the wide variety of material available at the show – from cowboy to Native American, from old to new, and from inexpensive to lavish – it's often difficult to explain to people what, exactly, the event is like,” said Brian Lebel, who founded the show and auction 34 years ago in Cody, Wyoming. “But one thing is certain – after someone's first visit, they come back every year. It's a special event with a community like none other."

The weekend dealer show is a “buy, sell and trade” event, with many vendors happy to offer impromptu appraisals or advice. "Our show vendors are among the best in the business, and are extremely generous with both their time and knowledge,” said Lebel. “Even if you don't buy anything, you're guaranteed to learn something." Show hours are 9am to 4pm Mountain time on Saturday, June 24; and 9am to 3pm on Sunday, June 25. General admission is $10 per day, with free entry for those under 12 or over 75.

The show also offers early buying, which is available “for the serious collector” during Friday's June 23 vendor set-up from 9am to 5 pm. Guests are able to shop while the dealers unpack, for a first look at the merchandise. The cost is $100 and includes access during all vendor hours all weekend.

The all-day show on Saturday will be followed by an exciting Saturday night auction produced in association with Morphy Auctions and held on-site at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. The auction start time is 5pm. More than 300 lots will be offered, with hundreds of bidders competing in person, on the phone, online and by mobile app in real time. Bidder registration is free, and all auction goods are available to preview in person on-site during the show on Friday and Saturday. Both the auction and the preview are free and open to the public.

The auction’s major categories include cowboy antiques and collectibles (saddles, spurs, bits, etc.); Native American artifacts, Hollywood cowboy memorabilia, Western fine art, Old West gambling and saloon items; antique and contemporary belt buckles and other silverwork; antique advertising and lithography; and Western decorative arts and furniture.

Lebel is enthusiastic about the quality and variety of the auction lots available this June. “Appropriately for Santa Fe, there’s a strong selection of Native American artifacts,” he said. The selection includes an excellent and early Ojibwa ball-headed war club, a Sioux gunstock club, an impressive Cheyenne shield, a notable pictorial beaded vest, an important vintage turquoise jewelry set, and many other fine Native artworks and artifacts.

On the cowboy side, Lebel is particularly excited about a pair of vintage boots: the only known pair of circa-1960s Tony Lama “El Rey II” bejeweled cowboy boots. Also crossing the auction block are a scarce and authentic full-size Yellowstone stagecoach, a number of special prison-made horsehair bridles, rare G.S. Garcia snake-pattern spurs, a collection of fine Mexican silver inlaid spurs, and several impressive Edward H. Bohlin silver parade saddles.

Fine Western art is another Santa Fe mainstay. This year’s auction will feature several important pieces by Will James, an A.D.M. Cooper saloon nude, a selection of Nicholas Firfires paintings from the artist’s estate, and other pieces by noted western artists such as Nicholas Eggenhofer, Fritz Scholder, Lon Megargee, Bill Churchill and others.

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