FINE FANCY ANTIQUE GOLD AND SILVER EAGLE PIITADO HAND EMBROIDERED. MATCHING HOLSTER AND BELT GUN RIG FOR AN AUTOMATIC. Antique Western Americana matching Holster rig sets are hard to find. This is especially true of South of the Border leather. Mexican leather had a horrible tanning process that did not preserve the leather very well; and would self-destruct in almost no time.
In fact, the Premier Mexican Artisans who made saddles used imported leather. In addition, old Mexican leather items, especially fancy goods, were handed down from generation to generation, and typically saw continuous heavy use until they literally fell apart; then, were typically repaired and continued being used.Most South of the Border hombres would use any old holster with any old belt; thus, it is very difficult to find Antique South of the Border matching gun rigs in fine condition. This holster rig is complete with matching tan suede original leather lining for both the holster and belt. Both are hand embroidered using fiber from the Agave cactus leaves that are hand twisted into thread; and is the same cactus used to make Tequila. The intricately hand embroidered decoration is done one stitch at a time; i. Each time the needle is brought up from the back of the leather, each stitch of the fine embroidery creates the 3 dimensional embroidered design. Modern rigs with similar designs that appear to be hand embroidered are actually machine made. This rig has fine hand stitched embroidery that is very time consuming to create in pitiado artistry, with strong visual eye appeal. This cactus fiber embroidery thread is top of the line; i. It is also gold and silver embelished. When the needle iis brought through the leather from the back, each stitch is individually hand wrapped with a thin flat silver or gold wire, and the needle pushed through to the back side. Each stitch is individually hand done one stitch at a time.
Other metal wire is observed, such as copper and brass flat wire used to create a similar look but is less expensive; but a contrasting combination of both silver and gold pitiado is as good as it gets. The silver wire develops a patina over time. Note the gold wire is the same silver wire that has been gold washed, is light in color and very delicate. The gold wash does darken slightly over time, but the gold wire mostly changes it's look as the wash can be rubbed off easily, exposing the silver wire underneath. Thus, over time, the contrast between the gold and silver embelishments is somewhat diminished, yet the embroidery patterns are very visible and distinct; especially in the sunlight.
The holster depicts the National symbol of Mexico, an Eagle perched on a cactus with a rattlesnake in it's mouth, with a flowing leaf pattern extending to the tip of the holster; all in silver pitiado. Above is the National symbol of the Liberty Cap with sun rays extending below, also in silver pitiado.The entire background is in gold pitiado, as is the hammer strap. Gold and silver pitiado embelished items were certainly not practicable, and were only worn for special occasions. This fancy gun rig is designed to carry the new fangled, Mucho Macho automatic weapon. During parades or Charrerias` (Mexican Rodeos, the national sport of Mexico) Vaqueros would carry a fancy gun rig and use their pistola for firing off blank cartridges; thus many of the Charro Revival period belts do not have cartridge loops.
Holsters for automatics without cartridge loops date from the early 1900s through the Mexican revolution period; and the full gold and silver pitiado coverage suggests this is an early piece that dates to around 1920. The holster and holster skirt appears to have little to no broken threads, as does the hammer strap that is hand gold pitiado embroidered, en suite with the belt frontpiece pattern; and the snap works fine. The side and bottom of the holster is laced with an unusual multi-strand fiber flat lacing.
Losed toed at the bottom. Designed for a medium sized automatic, probably a. 32 caliber Colt; but I do not have an auto to try in the holster.The skirt is 8 3/4" tall X 4 1/2" wide. The holster skirt is folded over to create the belt loop, and secured with 3 rivets.
Many holsters do not have a "skirt" backing; but this piece as a gold pitiado border embroidered skirt, en suite with the belt and front piece. When I put a ruler inside the holster, it measures about 8 1/4" from the bottom to the top of the holster, and about 3 1/4" wide across inside dimension. The belt is long; about 45" as shown x 2" wide. The front belt piece eyelets would adjust for about a 41 1/2" to about a 44 1/2" waist. The belt front piece is embelished with the same silver & gold Eagle pattern as the holster, but the contrast is slightly less visible.
The belt front piece is 12 1/2" long x 3 1/2" wide, and has a couple of tiny spots where the thin wire has been lost; mostly where the metal buckles rub against the delicate threads. As expected, the belt top and bottom gold pitiado borders show a few broken threads as the belt is flexed and the holster wears against the delicate thread. The buckles are the early cast one piece nickel plated California clip style, and both have a stamping on the back, 05919. The matching tan suede leather lining on the belt and holster show little to no wear, and is in remarkablly excellent+ condition with all the stitching intact, demostating little wear over all; especially considering it's extreme age.Overall, this fine delicate hand stitched silver and gold pitiado embroidery embellishment on the holster, belt and hammer strap is in remarkably intact condition. The leather panels of the belt show natural aging and cracking to the dark brown tanned surface, and could use some leather conditioner.
This holster rig leather is supple with light overall wear and with a naturally occurring aging in fine, untouched condition that collectors love to see. Weight about 12.8 oz.. This set was expensive when made; and only a well to do "Head of the Spread" or affluent Gentleman would be able to afford a finely gold and silver pitiado embroidered gun rig like this.
As are almost all Mexican rigs, this is unmarked. This is a fine, fancy, handsome, eye-catching, finely detailed hand pitiado gold and silver embroidered matching gun rig from South of the Border, down Mexico way.
Automatic holster patterns are very hard to find, as most preferred the tradtitional revolver. Note it is very difficult to take pictures of a reflective object and I took dozens of images to try to capture the patina and natural aging. This investment grade holster rig would be perfect for any Western, Old West, Western Americana, Wild West, Parade, Mexicano, Re-enactment, Charro, Charrita, Vaquero, Cowboy, Cowgirl, Buckaroo, Holster, Holster rig, Colt auto or Folk Art collection. Or, use as a decorator / wall hanger in an office, den or Man Cave; or hang on a saddle horn, use as costume or conversation piece. BANK DRAFTS DRAWN ON A U.
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