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    [Ranching]. Early Nineteenth Century Leather Bound Cattle Brand Book. Containing sixty-five handwritten pages featuring 174 registered brands, this beautifully preserved brand book gives an illustrated history of the early days of the cattle industry in North America. Entirely in Spanish, the book spans the years 1826 through 1834 and contains brands from the area of Cadereyta Jiminez, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Information provided includes the year the brand was given (most of which date from the eighteenth century and one which dates to 1694), the person to whom the brand is registered to (including such prominent ranchers as Nicolas de la Garza Falcon, Francisco Serpentin, et al.) the date, and the fierro, señales, and venta for each ranch. Each entry also includes one and, at times, two signatures from, what are presumed to be, government officials in witness to the registration. Bound in the original leather with a flap, the pages show light toning and scattered foxing throughout, but the text is bold and very bright.

    Cattle ranching in Nuevo Leon (and by extension, South Texas) began in earnest in the mid-eighteenth century, when Governor José de Escandón, settled 3,000 families already experienced in cattle ranching from areas around Nuevo Leon and the states of Queretaro and Coahuila. These small ranches were the birthplaces of the American cattle industry that would dominate Texas through the nineteenth and into the twentieth century. Shortly after the settlement, as cattle ranching became large scale, the Spanish ordered all cattle to be branded.

    The system of brands used in Spanish Mexico and, later independent Mexico and Mexican Texas, were three-fold. Each cow would exhibit three marks: the fierro, or iron brand, burned into the animal's flank (customarily on the left side) served as the main identity marker; the señales, or earmark, is then applied, in this case, a small cut in the ear that mimics the fierro; finally the venta, or sale brand, was burned into the shoulder as a bill of sale (under an existing sale brand if one was already present). While branding in this manner may seem extreme, it pales in comparison to early Spanish practices of branding, oftentimes taking up the entire side of the animal with an individual's coat of arms.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2013
    1st-2nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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