Antique Colt Holsters, Heiser, Prison Made?
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    Antique Colt Holsters, Heiser, Prison Made?

    I have a few holsters I got from my friend's stuff. I am a militaria collector, not a cowboy collector so I am a bit lost. I know two are Heisers. But two have no name on them. One I believe may be a prison made holster due to the long number (I know Canon City prison bits and spurs were stamped with an inmate number sometimes. Any help on age, value, etc will be appreciated as I will be turning lose of these at some point. Thank you.
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    From what I can see, most of these are 1920's-40's. The Heisers look late, by their design. Those numbers may be catalog numbers, and not having to do with a prison.

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    The holster with the number 4767-44-6 seems to be a rather long number for no maker stamp. I found one recerence to an Ebay listing that sold for $300 plus with a holster with that number. Sadly it was an old listing so just a vague description "holster, tooled, marked, etc" and the photo was gone.

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    Heisers go for ok money on ebay, but not that much locally unless someone knows them (you have a bigger audience on ebay). A plain one sells for less than a basket weave, which sells for less than a floral carving. A double or single loop western style sells for more than a plain model. But you won't get rich off these, I'd just put them on ebay with a good description and photos and see what you get - IF you are sure you don't want to just use an excellent holster.

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    Hardware Store/Dry Goods holsters often don't have maker's markings - just numbers correlating to frame size and barrel length, along with catalog number - it's not prison-made.

    The Heisers are what they are - and they're on ebay, so price from there.

    As to dates - 1940's or so, maybe earlier- they're 'Cowboy Collectibles', not 'Old West' collectibles - big difference…

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    1940s on all holsters posted or just the Heisers? The Heisers I know are 1919 to 1950s by the maker stamp. The other two had me stumped as to the age.

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    News you can use: machine stitched gunleather will be no older than early 20th century. When hand sewing or lacing is used it doesn't rule out the 20th century though!

    These images will help you a lot. Both are circa 1930 and the holsters are likely by Wyeth; because I've seen many of them both with and without the Wyeth name imprinted. Characteristic of them is the large numbers at the tip of the fender, just under the muzzle of the holster itself. And lacing was often used on their holsters:

    1928.jpg 1930s.jpg

    Worthpoint will give you a better idea of prices realized than just eBay because it goes back further. Otherwise use eBay's 'completed auctions' button to see what folks really got vs what they hoped for in a current auction. Don't let the naysayers get you down, some folks are real geniuses at getting high prices for their vintage gunleather.

    Say on the point made, about Old West or not :-). The famous book Packing Iron is explicitly stated to be about 'gunleather of the Frontier West'. That was late 19th century -- but every one of the holsters in its civilian section, which is far more than half the book, is from the 20th century. So the line is so blurred that even the historian author didn't make a distinction (so surely Rattenbury didn't even notice the 'mission creep').
    Red Nichols
    The Holstorian (tm)

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    Quote Originally Posted by rednichols View Post
    News you can use: machine stitched gunleather will be no older than early 20th century. When hand sewing or lacing is used it doesn't rule out the 20th century though!

    These images will help you a lot. Both are circa 1930 and the holsters are likely by Wyeth; because I've seen many of them both with and without the Wyeth name imprinted. Characteristic of them is the large numbers at the tip of the fender, just under the muzzle of the holster itself. And lacing was often used on their holsters:

    1928.jpg 1930s.jpg

    Worthpoint will give you a better idea of prices realized than just eBay because it goes back further. Otherwise use eBay's 'completed auctions' button to see what folks really got vs what they hoped for in a current auction. Don't let the naysayers get you down, some folks are real geniuses at getting high prices for their vintage gunleather.

    Say on the point made, about Old West or not :-). The famous book Packing Iron is explicitly stated to be about 'gunleather of the Frontier West'. That was late 19th century -- but every one of the holsters in its civilian section, which is far more than half the book, is from the 20th century. So the line is so blurred that even the historian author didn't make a distinction (so surely Rattenbury didn't even notice the 'mission creep').
    I did have a Wyeth holster out of St. Jo that I already sold. I see holsters on Ebay, but none like mine. I listed the Heisers there, but the fees are killer. The man who owned these was a very well known collector, author, and dealer. His collection is in a museum, BUT I bought his gun show pile. If there is one thing I learned from that man on the not of "old west" is that most of what people believe is old west is pure crap. No cowboy ever rode on the Chisholm Trail up from Texas and got in a fist fight with Wyatt Earp in Dodge City while wearing Crockett spurs. But yet many people argue that Crocketts are a real old west spur. But I guess it depends on perspective and what one would call the old west. To me the Colt SAA was only around a very short period of what I would call the old west so almost nothing SAA is old west. To others, that is not true. None of this is what I would personally call "old west" but a mint or near mint Heiser basket weave holster has to be worth something. But every Ebay listing I see for SAA either shows an unmarked (or at least no pictures of a maker mark) holster called a Heiser, or it has a retention strap (who ever seen John Wayne or Clint Eastwood unsnap a retention strap in a western). He has the one Heiser priced at $200, the other mint basket weave at $350. The one holster and belt at $350. And the holster I suspected prison made at $450. He knew his leather very well and truthfully bought guns just to get the holster and threw the guns on the table for sale like they were junk and kept the holster. So if it was something he said held value or was special in a way I believe the man. He hadn't done a gun show in 10 years so these were old prices. At times he was a bit overly optimistic, but I found some things have gone up over his prices and were even probably worth more then he had them priced 10 years ago. But as an aging man he quit doing big shows and stayed local. I have sold all the parts except the ivory grips I have for a Colt DA. Believe it or not I almost had enough parts to build a few SAA. Piles of Winchester sights. And a few random odds and ends. Sadly for me there was very little militaria to skim. I still have most of the Winchester bullet molds and loading tools. Rather sad deal knowing the circumstances and losing a life long friend who got me into collecting and I followed the shows and spent countless hours talking to and learning the tricks of the trade, but at the same time it has been great fun to learn about this stuff.


 
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