Cowboy Spur

Written by Linda Alexander
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Cowboy spur collecting is a favorite hobby among those who collect antiques and western memorabilia. Spurs in America date back to 1520 when the Spanish first traveled here. They have evolved over the years and thus there are many variations and characteristics which make them valuable and fun to collect.

Old cowboy spurs were hand forged from molten metal, then inlaid with silver and engraved with elaborate designs. Masters from the 1800s were skilled craftsmen whose work was highly respected. Names or marks of the masters were generally placed on the inside heel bands or sometimes on top of the spur shanks. If there are no marks, spurs must be identified by style and finish alone. As with other antiques, the older and the better the condition, the higher the value of the cowboy spur.

Evolution of the Spur Adds Value and Interest for Collectors

Over many generations, spurs were modified to fit the needs and particular preferences of the cowboy. Eventually these styles became regional. One example is the chap guard, which keeps chaps away from the rowel. Tie downs, chains that ride under the boot and keep the spur from angling up on the boot, and rowel guards, which keep the rowel turning freely, were also invented for the cowboy's safety needs.

Spur collectors are intrigued with the romance of the old cowboy way of life. They help to preserve the lifestyle and keep it alive by collecting cowboy gear and memorabilia like spurs. They are becoming more and more rare and difficult to find. As the cowboy era dies, the value of these fine collectibles continues to rise, and collectors are stepping up to find whatever items are still available to add to their collections.


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