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ca. 1870 -1920 CHIHUAHUA VAQUERO SPURS – HEAVY HAND FORGED IRON WITH HAND HAMMERED CACTUS DESIGN – VERY SOLID MATCHED PAIRHand wrought of heavy iron, these Chihuahua Vaquero Spurs are generally believed to have originated in the latter half of the 19TH Century with the cowboys in the arid northern deserts of Mexico, hence bearing the name of the country’s famous northern state.   Fashioned in substantial proportions, there is no question these spurs were designed to withstand the day to day wear of a working vaquero in a harsh environment.  

Given the style of decoration and the character of the handwork, I believe this pair dates from the period of 1870 – 1920, certainly no later than that.  While this basic form of spur is still being produced in Mexico, the more modern versions are not made in such heavy proportions, nor are they decorated in this manner with this degree of skill or sense of design. 

The spurs feature a 1 ½” wide heel band and a substantial 2 ½” long shank.  The outside curve of each heel band and the corresponding outside flat of the shank are decorated with a hand hammered stylized cactus design reminiscent of the ubiquitous prickly pear cactus that blankets the border region.  The figures of the cactus plant are executed in high relief with a stippled background.  The eight pointed sunburst style rowels measure 3 ½” in diameter.  The rowels spin freely and are pinned in place with a heavy iron rivet with a flower bud shaped head.  The spurs are set with a pair of spur strap buttons mounted on thin iron straps through slots in the heel bands.  One of the spurs is missing one of the buttons, however the original strap which held the button is still present and unbroken.  The button is of such a basic pattern and assembly that should the new owner wish to restore the button, it would be a simple task for any blacksmith shop.  The iron of both spurs has a smooth naturally aged patina without any significant pitting, and is solid throughout with no weak points.   

This is a very attractive pair of Chihuahua Spurs of the type worn by the working vaqueros in the brush country of the Northern Mexico desert.  No doubt that many Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California cowboys wore these as well, as they embraced the material horse culture of the border region.  This is a desirable early pair that has survived in very nice condition.  (0223)  $175




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