Member: National Bit, Spur & Saddle Collector's Association and Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America
Item #PSA444 / SOLD
Garcia Acorn Pattern Saddle. Original - Mint Condition
The Garcia saddle offered here was built in the Salinas shop during the late 1940's and was purchased directly from the shop in the early 1950's. The Garcia Acorn pattern is utilized throughout the saddle and the matching saddlebags. There is an engraved sterling silver back plate, personalized "DAVE" for the original owner of this saddle and whose daughter was the most recent owner.
The saddle is in pristine condition and is extremely rare. The period photograph showing the same saddle being manufactured was taken in 1948.
The saddle is a 15" seat with a 27" skirt. When the saddlebags are mounted on the saddle, they add an inch of length.
The stirrups are 6 and 1/4" wide at the base, by 7 and 1/4 high. The foot of the stirrups is 4 inches deep. The top of the horn is 3 and 1/2" in diameter.
The Garcia Family History and Garcia Saddles:
Mr. Guadalupe S. Garcia was born in Sonora, Mexico in 1864 and was raised in Santa Margarita, near San Luis Obispo, California. In 1882, he apprenticed with the Arana Saddle Shop in San Luis Obispo, prior to opening his own shop in Santa Margarita in 1883. In 1894, G. S Garcia moved to Elko, Nevada. The first Garcia catalog was published in 1899. The Saddlery was employing about 20 craftsmen and apprentices at that time. Alsalio Herrera was hired from Visalia, California for the post of master bit and spur maker. He brought 35 years of experience of working with his father, a famous maker in his own right. By the start of 1904, the G. S. Garcia Harness and Saddlery would be one of Elko's largest employers. The quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail was unmatched. When coupled with G. S. Garcia's natural marketing ability, there was no stopping the resulting success of the company.
G. S. Garcia was involved in every aspect of design and implementation. In 1904, G. S. Garcia won the Gold Medal for his silver show saddle entered at the St. Louis World's Fair - and thereby began his vast world-wide popularity and the overwhelming success that has been continued for generations. Much later on, G.S. Garcia's granddaughter, Mrs. Dee Dee Garcia White, generously made that saddle available for viewing at the Nevada City Museum in Carson City, Nevada - where it is currently on display.
Henry Garcia, son of famed G .S. Garcia, left his father's shop in Elko, Nevada in 1935 to open a branch of the family's saddlery in Salinas, California (about 100 miles south of San Francisco). The family had enough capital to establish a branch in a different area and felt that Salinas presented an opportunity to be in an area of more rapid economic recovery and higher population. Henry was only 23 years old, but was thoroughly trained in all aspects of saddle making and bit and spur crafting. The shop he rented was at 10 W. Gabilan Street.
By 1939, Garcia Saddlery was making the championship saddles for the Salinas Rodeo events. Every year for over 15 years, Henry Garcia also donated a Garcia saddle to the Rodeo. The brothers convinced their mother (Mrs. Saturnina Garcia) to leave Elko and join them in Salinas, but not until that year.
During WWII, the store closed its doors temporarily. Materials for saddle making were diverted to the wartime effort, and the US Army requisitioned the store building to use as a recruiting office. Les Garcia entered the military and made some good contacts which allowed him to arrange for a contract with the Army to provide US soldiers with leather wallets. Even mass-produced, those wallets were beautifully adorned with either the signature Garcia Acorn or Rose patterns and then hand-laced.
As soon as the Army contract was concluded and the war came to an end, Henry and Les Garcia re-opened the Garcia Saddlery and continued the family business. By 1948, they were offering their wares in a newly styled 31-page catalog filled with saddles, headstalls, bits and spurs, boots, belts and buckles, trousers, shirts and cowboy hats. The Garcia tradition of saddle making and silver smithing continues today.
*All photographs and information here regarding the history of the Garcia family and Garcia saddle-making is from the book Legacy of Silver and Saddles G.S. Garcia to J.M. Capriola Co. 1864 - 2004 - by Dee Dee Garcia White.
*Dates, personal facts and conversations, etc.. were used with permission from "Legacy of Silver Saddles: G.S. Garcia to J.M. Capriola Co. 1864 to 2004."
Garcia Saddlery / Item #PSA444 / SOLD
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Members: National Bit, Spur & Saddle Collector's Association
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