Bits and Spurs with Cowboy Designs
Cowboy motifs are especially popular in Western culture and provoke images of what we believe when we think of cowboys. Listed below are some of the most common Cowboy designs that will be seen on valuable and collectible antique bits and spurs. Cowboy motifs are especially common in the Texas style of bit and spur making and some collectors will try and complete sets of a particular style from all of the famous makers they can find. For example everyone from Bischoff, Petmecky, McChesney, Shipley, Kelly, Crockett and any maker worth his salt produced gal-leg spurs and some makers like McChesney could produce them in a number of varieties.
Card Suit Spurs and Bits – Among the most common cowboy designs are card suits, sometimes a bit or spur will feature all four or sometimes only one. The best card suit designs often feature the use of multiple metals to create visual interest and use the suits not just as mountings on the heel band but also on the buttons, shank or rowel.
Gal-Leg or Lady-Leg Spurs and Bits – Virtually every Texas style maker produced this popular style of antique spurs or bits. The Gal leg design usually uses a lady’s leg as the shank of a spur with a copper or brass garter and engraving, some makers would shape the shank to really resemble a leg while others were more abstract. It’s not uncommon to see a double lady-leg design that uses the leg for the shank and for the heel band of a spur as well. Bits can be found that show an entire lady’s body or just the leg. Gal-legs spurs and bits are very popular with collectors and examples from hard to find makers can bring big money! Click Here To Read More About Gal-Leg Spurs!
Bottle Opener Spurs – While not exactly a cowboy motif, the bottle opener shank spurs are certainly associated with thirsty cowboys! No one knows if this design was ever intended to be used as a bottle opener and collectors and historians aren’t sure who first invented the design but one thing is for sure: it was very popular with cowboys! Joe Bianchi is probably the maker most well known for his bottle opener spurs but many other makers produced this design as well and collectors like them as much today as the cowboys did back when!
Pistol Bits and Spurs – The pistol design is not one that is commonly seen but you can find bits that use the pistol as its design as well as spurs that have a pistol for the shank. This design is typically seen in more modern bits and spurs but occasionally you’ll see something older that used the pistol for inspiration. It’s obvious why there’s such appeal to this design and collectors often find this is a tough gap to fill in a collection.
Rope, Bucking Broncos, and Other Western Design Bits and Spurs – There are all kinds of more modern mountings you’ll see especially in Texas style pieces where a simple silver cutout of virtually any shape can be mounted onto bits and spurs, keep an eye on the hobby and you’ll see makers constantly working to outdo one another.