Ruxton's Trading Post

Proprietor: Gretchen and Mike Graham
22 Ruxton Avenue
Manitou Springs, CO 80829

Tel: 719-377-1919  

Appraisal of silver inlaid August Buermann spurs


I traded a gun for this set of spurs while on an elk hunting trip to Rand, Colorado in the early 1970s.

I have looked for a maker mark but cannot find any.  Under the heart button are the initials E. H. in silver but that is all that I can find.
The man that I traded with was in his mid to late 50s and guided spring and fall bear hunts.  He told me that his father won this set of spurs and some others that he had hanging on the cabin wall.  
In the late 1800s and early 1900s at rodeos they would give spurs or saddles for prizes before they gave money.
One of the hearts was missing and I had that replaced.  Otherwise they are in excellent condition.  I have replaced the straps since they were in very poor condition.
I have had numerous compliments on them at trail rides and ranch rodeos over the years.  Can you tell me anything about them?
Robert L. Rathbun
Huron, SD
Dear Robert,
When I received your letter I got really excited to read that the spurs were marked EH.  I thought you had a very rare pair of Eddy Hulbert spurs.  Then I called you to find out just where and how the spurs were marked and learned from you that they really have the name E. Howard, Rand, Colorado scratched on the inside of one shank of one spur.  You told me that E. Howard must have been the winner of the spurs and father of you hunting guide.
Spurs in the same pattern like your’s were made by August Buermann Manufacturing Company and sold to the public and to other spur making companies.  The ones sold to the other spur companies may not have had the Buermann Star trademark.  They were probably sold plain so that the company finishing the spurs could put their mark on the finished product.
Your spurs have unusual metal straps added to the spurs that raise the button for the spur straps higher like a swing button does but yours are solid to the spur and don’t move.  If you spurs did have a maker mark at one time this alteration would have covered the mark over.
Mike Morales Bit and Spur in Portland, Oregon made a spur model just like your pair but without the added strap.  In 1916 the pair sold for $9.00 retail.  I think he used Buermann spurs at least for the iron parts since in his catalog he used the very same picture engravings as Buermann except the star trademark is obliterated leaving a white dot.
Another feature that is considered a defect by collectors is that the rowels on your spurs have been replaced.  They are handmade and the silver color beads that should cover the rowel pins are missing.  I wouldn’t change the rowels unless you want to sell the spurs.  I find the few “defects” and the name scratched onto the spurs to make them unique.  This pair is best left like they are.
Value $1,000