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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Collectibles Corner

M. Morales Spurs

 By Dorinda Troutman, RMR Staff Writer

 

December 2013 issue  

 

 

      Rick Peverley and Sally Gouse of RLP Auctions in Hamilton , Montana , own these well-crafted antique Miguel “Mike” Morales spurs.

      The spurs are made in the California style (curved, dropped shank, long rowels, chap guards and silver inlays reminiscent of vaquero-style). They are made of browned steel with finely stamped silver inlays on the shank and heel band (yoke).

      M. Morales spurs are marked depending upon where and when they were made. Marks include “M,” “M M,” “MM PORTLAND,” “Hamley & Co,” and “MIKE MORALES MAKER.” These spurs are marked “MM.” Rick believes that they were made between 1914-1918 and he values them between $1,800 and $2,000.

      Like a lot of other master Western spur makers, Morales was born in Mexico (in 1888), and moved to the U.S. in 1902 where he became an apprentice with the well-known G.S. Garcia Spur & Bit Company in Elko, Nevada.

      When Morales was 22, he moved to Pendleton , Oregon , and applied for a job with Hamley and Company.  

 

      According to a letter from Lester Hamley in 1956, “…we were a little doubtful of his ability when he first came in, but we told him that if he could make a few bits and spurs, we would be glad to look at them...”

     Morales left the interview, bought some Swedish iron at a local hardware store and arranged to use a forge and anvil at another business. He arrived back at Hamley’s a couple of days later with a pair of spurs and one or two bits. They were so well made that Hamley’s “took them on.” Hamley’s finally rented a small building in back of the main store for Morales to make bits and spurs. In 1915 Morales moved to Portland and established M. Morales and Company. In 1927 he moved to Los Angeles , and opened a store on Sunset Boulevard.

     Mike Morales died in 1934 and the store was closed.

    

Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

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