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Lot 218

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Mexican Revolution & Border War Archive, 7 Pcs

An unusual archive relating to the Mexican Revolution (ca. 1910-1920) and the Mexican Border War (1910-1919), seven pieces total. The archive includes two vintage postcards, a belly belt, two banners/flags from U.S. border patrol units, and two early panoramic photographs of American armed forces deployed during the Pancho Villa Expedition.

Political unrest during the Mexican Revolution destabilized the entire region and threatened border areas in the United States. Though numerous border incidents between Americans and Mexican revolutionaries occurred during this period, the one event which precipitated a full-scale military action was Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico in early March 1916. This action, along with similar raids, spurred President Wilson to send General John "Black Jack" Pershing and 4,800 troops into Mexico to capture Pancho Villa. The Mexican Border Campaign (March 1916 - January 1917) was alternately known as Pershing's Punitive Expedition or the Pancho Villa Expedition.

The lot is comprised of:

1. A vintage black and white postcard produced by W.H. Horne Co. (El Paso, Texas), entitled "Triple Execution in Mexico." The scene shows a man crumpling in front of a wall after being shot by a firing squad. Pencil inscribed verso in the message section: "Some looking (?) believe me would like to get a good crack at them." Minor weathering, else near fine. 5.375" x 3.375."

Walter H. Horne (1883-1921) photographed events and participants of the Mexican Revolution. He is best known for his graphic photographs of executions, battlefields, dead bandits, and burials/cremations, but he also photographed army camps, army exercises, matadors, and even sandstorms.

2. A vintage black and white postcard showing members of the U.S. Border patrol, pen inscribed verso: "Border Patrol - (Mexico / US). Uncle 'Bay' was there 1916." Same condition and size as the first postcard. Neither postcard appears to have been mailed.

3. Mexican Border Service souvenir cummerbund, a red felt sash with central metallic beaded panel and embroidered border, inscribed verso in part: "Waist sash --? -- 1902." A few scattered loose threads and areas of isolated unraveling, especially at a stress point at center. Isolated moth damage to the felt, else very good. Measures 5.25" x 33.35."

4. "I Love You U.S.A." banner/flag, the red and cobalt blue felt ground cut at a diagonal and looped with white ribbon. Isolated stains and moth damage. Measures 22" x 19."

5. "V.M.H. Mexican Border Service 16-17" banner/flag, the beige and cobalt blue ground looped with white ribbon. Scattered stains and an area of moth damage to one notch at left. Measures approximately 32" square.

6. A panoramic sepia colored photograph framed behind glass entitled "Pennsylvania Division on the Border Looking South from the 13th Infantry Camp Stewart - El Paso, Tex. - 1916 -." Attributed to J.U. Medley & Isaac Shulman, photographers of El Paso, Texas. Camp Stewart on the U.S. / Mexican border in El Paso, Texas served as a military base during the Mexican Border War. Scattered wrinkles. Minor loss at lower left, and stains at upper left. Overall framed size: 49.25" x 11.25" x 1."

7. A panoramic sepia colored photograph framed behind glass depicting members of the 107th Machine Gun Battalion of the 28th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, deployed to El Paso, Texas in June 1916 to take part in the Pancho Villa Expedition. Inscribed in stone "107 M.G.Bn. 28 Div." in the lower right corner. Also inscribed in stone "Fletcher Photo Neg # 5054 702-9-N.W. Washington DC" at center bottom. Scattered water stains, wrinkles, and surface abrasions. Two full vertical splits and a probable repair of a triangular piece at center. Else good. Overall framed size: 36.875" x 8" x 1." Neither piece examined out of the frames.

This unique archive underscores the complicated history of relations between the United States and its southern neighbor.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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September 30, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

Westport, CT, US

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