Joe BianchiBorn:1871 Died:1949 Maker's Mark:
"HAND FORGED", "J. BIANCHI VICTORIA TEX", "AJ FIMBEL" (name of a saddlery that sold Bianchi bits and spurs)
Joe Bianchi is perhaps most well associated with the bottle opener shank spur but he was an accomplished bit and spur maker and produced other styles and paterns as well, though many of his designs are simply variations on the basic bottle opener which was enormously popular an which every other maker immitated. Bianchi certainly did not invent the bottle opener shank but he did bring it to the masses. Bianchi was born in Italy and immigrated to Victoria, Texas in 1885. Early on Joe had a blacksmith shop with his brother but eventually set out and ran his own shop as well as published catalogs to drive sales. His bottle opener spurs vary from simple and unadorned to some that are quite fancy and decorative. Bianchi used coins for rowel covers on most spurs and also used coins extensively on the bits he made.
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