Pancho Villa has gone down in history as one of the greatest revolutionary generals of Mexico. Pancho Villa was something of a Robin Hood during his heyday in the early 20th century. A saddle belonging to the Mexican icon was recently auctioned for $718,000. Even a Hermes saddle would struggle to fetch such a high price. The personal saddle that went up on saddle recently was created only a few months before the outlaw-turned revolutionary was assassinated in 1923. The most durable image of Pancho Villa is of him sitting on his horse. His saddle was a big part of his personality, hence the high price that it fetched at the auction. Even a limited edition saddle or saddle bag would struggle to draw such a price.
The leather saddle in question features silver thread work. The heavily ornamented horseback saddle incorporated stunning three-dimensional snakes, flowers and leaves into the silver design. There is no clarity on how Pancho Villa acquired the saddle. But we do know that his widow presented the saddle to filmmaker Howard Hawks in 1934. The saddle remained with Hawks until 1976, when it was stolen. Hawks died before the saddle could be recovered in 1982. In 1990, Chuck Ramsey purchased the saddle. The saddle remained in his collection until the recent auction.
The Pancho Villa saddle came up for auction at the High Noon Western Americana Weekend in Mesa. The event was held on 28-29 January 2012.