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Three Guns Linked to Pancho Villa Sell for Nearly $29,000 at Auction
Sunday, November 11, 2007

FREDERICKSBURG, Texas — Three guns linked to Pancho Villa were auctioned for nearly $29,000, apparently less than what organizers expected the firearms tied to the Mexican revolutionary to fetch.

"That's the fun of auctions — sometimes you get bargains," said Amy McMurrough, a spokeswoman for the auction, which was held Saturday near San Antonio.

The prize of the auction — Villa's Remington single action revolver with his real name, "Doreteo Arango," engraved on the barrel — sold for $18,000.

A rifle that Villa reportedly dropped in the Rio Grande during a skirmish with opposition forces sold for $7,500, and a pistol owned by Villa's bodyguard was sold for $3,450.

Besides the guns, a Spanish-made sword belonging to Villa sold for $7,500, McMurrough said.

Another gun in the auction, which features about 1,000 Old West items, once belonged to "Calamity Jane." The pocket pistol, which comes in a leather case, sold for $11,000.

The pistol bears the name "Martha Jane Cannary," the real name of the frontierswoman and professional scout who was a close friend of Wild Bill Hickok.

In 1916, Villa led a group of irregular fighters in a brief raid into Columbus, New Mexico, in what is considered the last battle against foreign forces on U.S. soil. Eighteen Americans were killed, prompting an unsuccessful manhunt for Villa. He made his peace with the Mexican government in 1920 but was assassinated in 1923 at the age of 45, likely out of fear he would rise up again.

Last year, Villa's death mask that featured his prominent mustache and eyebrows sold at auction for $17,00.
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