High Noon Western Americana, an organization dedicated to preserving the history of the American West, is auctioning what is said to be the "final magnificent silver threaded saddle" once owned by one of Mexico's most famous and most colorful revolutionary leaders.
The saddle, said to be the final artifact of his life, "is smothered in silver-wrapped threads and boldly-domed silver conchos," according to HighNoon.com, and is estimated to bring $150,000 to $250,000 in Arizona on January 28 and 29.
Villa's saddle is described by its handlers as having a "3-dimensional silver snake head" and "a carved diablo in the leather under the grand saddlebags," oh and of course, the initials of Villa himself, FV, on the stirrups. (for Francisco Villa.)
The saddle was given to famed Hollywood director Howard Hanks by Villa's widow, and only legal wife, as a gift for what she believed was an accurate portrayal of her husband in Viva Villa. The saddle has been on display at both the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas and the South Texas History Museum in Edinburg Texas for the past 20 years.
A butcher by trade, Villa joined the rebellion against Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz and soon rose to become one of the most powerful and successful revolutionary Generals. Angered by what he considered the betrayal of the United States, Villa lead an army and attacked Columbus, New Mexico. He died in July of 1923.
The circumstances of why he was killed and who was to blame aren't entirely solved but it continues to add to the lore.
Villa auctions pop up through-out the country including one in El Paso, Texas in February that claimed to be selling his right-index finger.