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SCARCE  JACOB PATENT INSIDE TROUSER SINGLE ACTION HOLSTER MADE BY R.C. FLICK  OF CUERO, TEXAS – MAKER MARKED - FOR A COLT SINGLE ACTION 5 ½” BARREL LENGTH – VERY NICE SPECIMEN:  This is a very attractive specimen a scarce Barnhart Jacob’s Patent Inside-Trouser Pistol Holster made at the saddlery shop of R. C. Flick in Cuero, Texas.  Probably produced between 1885 and the early 1920’s, this holster bears a completely legible maker’s stamp and the leather retains the surviving imprint of the profile of a Colt Single Action Revolver with a 5 ½” barrel.   

Raymond C. Flick was born on March 17, 1866, in Cuero, Texas (approximately an hour SE of San Antonio) to parents who had emigrated from Prussia.  He owned and operated a very successful saddlery shop in Cuero, and in his later years owned an early automobile agency.  He died on March 10, 1924 at age 57 and is interred in the Hillside Cemetery in Cuero.   

According to a family history written by Flick’s granddaughter, Forest F. Kincaid, which was published on page 225 of Yoakum Community, the First Hundred Years 1887-1987, in 1895, Raymond C. Flick founded the Flick Mercantile Company in Yoakum, approximately 16 miles northeast of Cuero.  She wrote “[the mercantile]….where saddles were made and sold, along with buggies, implements, and hardware….”  I suspect, given the proximity of the two towns, and that as Flick’s employees were well established with their own homes and families in Cuero, he continued to produce his leather goods in the shop in Cuero and the Yoakum shop provided him with an additional retail outlet.     

Mrs. Kincaid recorded that upon Flick’s death in 1924, Alfred Frobese, Flick’s son in law (and her father), became the manager of the firm until his death in 1956 when the company was sold and it became the Yoakum Hardware Company.  She makes no mention of the saddle shop in Cuero, which may mean nothing more than the saddlery existed beyond her childhood memories, or it may indicate that the saddle shop was closed after Flick’s death.   

The photograph below was found in the University of Texas San Antonio Library collection.  It is identified as depicting the interior of R.C. Flick Company saddle shop – taken in either Cuero or Yoakum - and it is dated on the reverse “1889”.  Referencing Mrs. Kincaid’s family history and her assertion that Flick’s Yoakum store was not established until 1895, the date on this photograph indicates it was taken in the Cuero saddle shop.  Unfortunately, the two men depicted in the photograph are not identified, but it seems reasonable to assume that one of them – probably the man on the left - is the owner, Raymond Flick.  Recognized as a town in 1873, Cuero had already been a long established stopping point on the southern extreme of the Chisholm Trail.  Its worthy of passing note that “Cuero” translates from Spanish as “leather”, indicating the town was founded on the very trade with which Flick made his fortune. 

The Barnhart Jacob “Pistol Holster” Patent Drawing, dated November 4, 1884, is included on page 156 of E. Scott Meadow’s U.S. Military Holsters and Related Accoutrements.  Meadows includes correspondence dated July 6, 1885 addressed to the Chief of Ordnance which accompanied one of the Jacob Patent Holsters that was being submitted for consideration by the army, thus indicating the clips were available on the market by that time.   

Jacob’s holster design, as shown in his patent drawing and incorporated into this holster and other similar holsters featuring the Jacob spring clip, presents as an open top holster in order that the wearer would have unimpeded access to his pistol.  The holster body was intended to be slipped between the trousers and the wearer’s body with the spring clip securing the holster in place by engaging the waist band of the trousers or snapping over a waist belt if one was worn.  The clip held the holster solidly in place so that it wouldn’t slide laterally out of position and the combined security of the clip and the holster being pressed between the trousers and the body, kept the pistol secure in the holster.   

Utilizing the date of the Jacob patent and its known availability on the market, and the dates that Flick was operating his saddle shop in Cuero, this holster can be dated fairly closely as having been made between 1885 and 1924 when Flick died.  While its certainly possible that his saddlery shop in Cuero, and the mercantile in Yoakum continued to offer leather goods made by Flick’s employees under his maker’s stamp well after his death, the style of the holster and the surviving imprint of the profile of a Colt Single Action Revolver in the leather, suggest this holster dates to earlier in the span of that time frame rather than later.   

Measuring 8 ¾” long and 4 ¼” at the widest extremity of the trigger guard swell, this holster has survived in very good condition.  The stitching is fully intact and the Jacob’s belt clip for mounting the holster inside the waist band of the trousers is solidly attached and fully functional.  The leather is firm, not weakened from wear or oil soaking, and the holster holds it full shape.  As noted above, the leather retains the surviving imprint of the profile of a Colt Single Action Revolver with a 5 ½” barrel.  The leather has a bright shiny surface with no surface loss, no scuffing, and only some very minor crazing concentrated on where the leather was pressed over the barrel.  A previous owner inscribed his initials, “H M” or “W H” on both sides of the holster.     

This is a very attractive holster, well maker marked from a recognized saddlery in south Texas, and one that would be a very nice piece to display with your Colt. (0905)  $1500



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