Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Got 1 min? Pancho Villa’s golden gun to be auctioned

A golden gun that once belonged to famed Mexican revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa will be sold at auction, with an expected sale price between US $650,000 and $950,000.

That’s according to the Rock Island Auction Company of Bedford, Texas, which is running the “Premier Firearms Auction” for three days starting Dec. 8.

Pancho Villa portrait
Pancho Villa, the famed Mexico Revolutionary leader, has become a Mexican folk hero – although in life, his exploits saw him hunted by both the Mexican and U.S. governments. (Library of Congress/Wikimedia)

Villa’s gun is a gold-plated, first-generation Colt Single Action Army Revolver. It has carved pearl grips and two inscriptions of Villa’s name, including one on its backstrap that reads, “Al General Francisco Villa/de/su División del Norte.”

The gun comes with authentication; factory records confirm it was shipped on April 18, 1917 to the pawn shop City Loan & Jewelry Co. in El Paso, Texas, an area filled with Villa allies.

Joseph B. Ravel, the owner of the store, sold guns to Pancho Villa, and on one occasion, U.S. Secret Service agents investigated him after Villa made a purchase at his store. His nephew, Sam, also sold guns and had ties to Mexican revolutionaries, including Villa.

Mexico has designated 2023 as “The Year of Francisco Villa” marking 100 years since “The People’s Revolutionary” was assassinated in a shootout on July 20, 1923 after being ambushed in Parral, Chihuahua.

Pancho Villa gun
The weapon comes with an engraved backstrap, which carries a dedication to Villa. (Rock Island Auctions)

Villa remains one of the most famous and popular figures in Mexican history, a Robin Hood–style folk hero remembered as a defender of the common people against the rich and powerful. However, Villa and his band of revolutionaries are also known for a run of murderous cruelty that brought retaliation from both the U.S. and Mexican armies, neither of which managed to capture him.

With reports from Milenio and El Universal

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