It seems like only yesterday that I first created the Cowboy Chic furniture in my home, but it has been more than a decade since I retired "Lure of the Dim Trails" -- my furniture business. In fact, it has been over 24 years since I first discovered the art and craft of the late Thomas Molesworth (1890-1977).
Molesworth's extraordinary cowboy high style furniture, and his decorative arts inspired a whole new generation of cowboy artists like myself (many others are still crafting whimsical furnishings). His furniture has been described as lodge furniture, rancho deluxe, cowboy chic, cowboy high style, or just plain rustic Western furniture.
David Dary, in his book Cowboy Culture, wrote, "The cowboy symbolizes the free life, closely tied to the out-of-doors and Nature. The impact of land, the grass, the rivers and streams and gushing springs, the color of the sky and the clouds, the climate and the weather, these things are characteristic of the real and the mythical cowboy cultures."
So for me it makes perfect sense to use a blend of outdoor cowboy trappings and sporting collectibles inspired by nature to accessorize a Cowboy Chic home.
Many years before making a career change in the late 1980s, and becoming a folk artist, I had a corporate position that earned a respectable income which allowed me to acquire a huge variety of antiques and collectibles.
Examples of the graphics on vintage shell boxes ca 1900 - 1940s (top)
My collecting tastes ran the gambit, so I surrounded myself with sporting art that included carved duck decoys, vintage paper shotgun shell boxes, colorful fishing tackle (rods, reels & lures), antique firearms, and a huge assortment of old West cowboy antiques and horse trappings.
During the dozen plus years that I struggled to make a living as an artist I sold most of my collectibles to pay the bills, and now as I move into old age I still sell some of the few that remain to fuel new passions.
Examples of the graphics on vintage fishing lure boxes (top)
I still have a collection of wooden duck decoys and carved wildlife sculpture that blends in perfectly with the movie lobby cards, and promotional motion picture stills I collected to illustrate the books I've written in recent years.
So, whether its a well done reproduction Colt poster or a vintage Remington calendar by Philip Goodwin there's nothing as delightful as a few sporting collectibles to enhance the fun of Cowboy Chic decor.
If you haunt ebay, other auction websites, and the internet you'll discover there are still a few decent sporting collectibles available. Happy hunting.