A & S Auction in Waco, Texas, is no stranger to unique Western Americana. For 30 years, the family-owned company has brought the Old West to life for collectors with their expertly produced specialty sales of antiques, firearms, art, and riding gear. Their July 12th Summer Western Auction will feature all that, plus something truly iconic the Lone Ranger outfit that actor Clayton Moore wore to numerous public appearances after his retirement from television.
Since The Lone Ranger’s radio introduction to American audiences in 1933, many actors have voiced or played the lead role, across various media. None, however, managed to capture the public’s imagination quite like Moore, who portrayed the masked Texas lawman on the 1950s ABC-TV series The Lone Ranger.
After leaving the show, Moore appeared “in character” as The Lone Ranger at state fairs, parades and even high-profile shopping mall openings. He was a striking figure in his powder-blue shirt and pants, red kerchief and Stetson hat. The outfit designed by the famed Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors of North Hollywood, California includes black Nudie’s cowboy boots, a hand-tooled and studded buscadero gun rig made by Hollywood’s “silversmith to the stars” Edward H. Bohlin; and custom-made Colt pistols factory-engraved with the serial numbers “LR-1” and “LR-2,” and “Clayton Moore The Lone Ranger.” The guns are accompanied by an original Colt factory letter that certifies them as having been a special order for Clayton Moore.
Moore passed away in 1999, but his head-turning Lone Ranger costume is now back in the spotlight after more than a decade of careful preservation in the private collection of the late Bob Davis. A Texas businessman, patriot and collector, Davis was museum curator for The Improved Order of Red Men, a fraternal organization founded in 1765 as an offshoot of The Sons of Liberty. The Lone Ranger outfit from the Davis collection will be offered to bidders in four separate lots at the July 12th sale.
In a method known as “sold on the whole bid,” each of the four lots will be auctioned individually and in consecutive order. Then, the auctioneer will reopen bidding for the entire outfit with a starting bid that equals the total of the four previous “winning” bids plus 10 percent.
“If there are no bids at that point, then each of the four individual lots will be considered sold for whatever the hammer prices were. Otherwise, the bidding will continue in normal auction fashion for the whole kit and caboodle. It’s a way of enabling the outfit to remain intact, if possible,” said Scott Franks, owner and auctioneer at A & S Auction.
The 450-lot Summer Western Auction also features silver-mounted and Texas tooled saddles, chaps, and a large selection of tack. A superb collection of spurs is highlighted by custom productions by famous Texas artisans, including Billy Klapper, Lytle & Mower, Jerry Wallace and several giants of spur and bit craftsmanship who are no longer living. The latter artisans include Adolph Bayers, Jerry Cates and Carl D. Hall, who was the oldest living Texas bit and spur maker at the time of his passing in May.
Among the top spur lots are a marked pair made by Adolph Bayers with custom silver mountings by Billy Klapper, estimate $4,000-$6,000. “Collectors are going to be keen on this lot, because it’s rare to see a collaboration between those two makers,” Franks noted.
Another highlight is a pair of Jerry Cates spurs crafted especially for fellow spur maker Kevin Burns. “They were Kevin Burns’ personal spurs and are marked as such,” said Franks. “To spur collectors, this pair combines the best of two worlds. They’re one of a kind, and there will never be another pair like them.” Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.
A fine selection of Western art includes paintings by Texas landscape master Porfirio Salinas (1910-1973), artist and sculptor Jack Bryant Sr (1929-2012) and Montana-born sculptor Robert Macfie Scriver (1914-1999), who was known for his Native-American and Western bronzes. Scriver’s remarkable bronze sculpture Attacked on the Wagon Train, #8 of 35, is estimated at $10,000-$14,000. Top paintings include Bryant’s signed 36 by 60-inch oil titled Buffalo Range, a signed and dated (1957) Salinas work titled The Bullfighter, and an exceptional 24 by 30-inch oil depicting two cowboys at a camp, painted by living New Mexico artist Lyle Tayson Sr (b. 1924-).
From an estate in Corsicana, Texas, comes a beautiful collection of handmade Navajo rugs of various sizes, with a timeline that spans from 1900 to the mid 20th century. “The woman who owned this collection was a midwife on a Navajo reservation, so she had the opportunity to acquire some premier examples,” said Franks.
Civil War artifacts include important Colt and Winchester firearms from the 1857 to 1865 period. Also to be sold are Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill Wild West Show posters and other items; an antique cane collection, cowboy boots, and desirable early mounted steer horns of the type used as hat and coat racks.
A very special inclusion is a pristine 1958 Harley-Davidson Panhead customized in an “Outlaw Josey Wales” theme. “The consignor had the largest Harley-Davidson dealership in Tennessee, so that explains the fantastic quality and appearance of this bike. It’s breathtaking. Anybody in the world would give $20,000 for it,” said Franks. It’s auction estimate is $20,000-$40,000.
Franks emphasized that the hammer price will be the final selling price on all lots (state sales tax applies, unless buyer is exempt). Also, in keeping with A & S Auction’s standard policy, there will be no reserve or buyer’s premium on any item in the sale.
Bids will be accepted live in the gallery, over the phone (please reserve line in advance) or absentee. Start time: 10 am. Central. View the full-color catalog online.