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    Description

    H. W. CAYLOR (1867-1932)
    Middle Concho
    Oil on canvas
    14 x 20 inches (35.6 x 50.8 cm)
    Signed lower right

    H. W. Caylor was one of the few Texas artists who witnessed and documented the closing days of the open range, the Longhorn, and cattle drives. However, Caylor was more than just a casual observer. At the age of twelve he got his first job as a cowboy. He traveled through Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. While earning money as a cow puncher he was constantly sketching. Part cowboy and part itinerant artist, Caylor had a passion for both of these avocations.

    By 1890, Caylor moved to Texas around the Big Spring area. Out of savings from his painting and sketching, Caylor purchased a horse-drawn wagon with a rigid top and canvas panels. Together with his newly-wed wife and wagon, Caylor camped at the Fore Ranch in northern Sterling County for the better part of a year. Caylor insisted on fresh air no matter how bad the weather and politely declined invitations by the owners to share the hospitality of the ranch home. He preferred sleeping on the open range. During this year, Caylor spent his time sketching the land, cattle, wild animals, and the Concho River, which had its headwaters a few miles to the south. It was during this period that he gathered the ideas and materials for several oil paintings he did later of the Concho River (including this painting).

    Middle Concho
    depicts the life giving qualities of water in mostly barren West Texas. Caylor often painted cactus-filled, barren landscapes, but this scene is lush and green with the water from the flowing river. In the foreground, two Longhorns are relaxing in the shade. In the midground, two Longhorns are grazing on the banks.

    The Middle Concho was an important part of the western-most Goodnight-Loving Trail. The trail followed the river's westward course toward the Pecos river, which then turns northward into New Mexico and Colorado, supplying Texas cattle to those markets. The importance of rivers and watering holes along the trail made the cattle drives possible, and there is no coincidence that the Goodnight-Loving Trail followed the course of both the Middle Concho and the Pecos rivers. This trail was one of the heaviest used in the southwest, and Caylor's "camping spot," just a few miles north of the Middle Concho headwaters, gave him a great vantage point for observing the waning days of the open range and cattle drives.

    Another painting titled Middle Concho (14 in. x 18 in., oil on canvas), is illustrated on page 99 of the book, H. W. Caylor Frontier Artist, by Texas A & M Press. It shows a similar scene on the Concho, but with a cowboy watering his horse.


    Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000.

    Condition Report*: Excellent condition. Period frame in excellent condition.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
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