Publication: Prepared for Weston's Mexican Art Shop, (ca 1945 - 1950), Mexico City
Three-ring quarto cloth binding, titles stamped in gilt on the front cover, 53 unnumbered plastic leaves that hold 105 - 5" x 7" silver gelatin photographs, nearly all stamped with Weston's name on verso, and others with pencil notations and inventory numbers, and occasionally prices in either dollars or pesos. Also laid-in is a tattered onionskin typed price list for "Group Photo No. 81 providing descriptions and prices for ten pistol types. An uncommon sales sample photo archive for Weston’s Mexican Art Shop in Mexico City, which during the 1940’s and 1950's was a popular shopping place for American tourists in Mexico. The majority of the images focus on the extraordinary range of historic firearms offered for sale by gunsmith and historic expert, Tom Weston. Intermixed amongst the brimming display cases which held such historic firearms as Maximilian's 18-shot pinfire revolver, and General Santa Ana's chased revolver, these images show music boxes, watches, Mexican blankets, leather goods, souvenirs, furnishings, walls burgeoning with paintings and photographs, and more. This exceptional sales sample photograph archive offers an exceptional visual record for the thriving firearms and
souvenir market in Mexico City in the Mid-20th Century. Established originally in the 1880's by Thomas Gardner Weston, Weston's was located on Avenida Francisco I. Madero, considered by many in the 1940's to be the most Americanized of the Capital streets, with the Art Deco Hotel Ritz nearby, as well as travel agencies including
Wells Fargo and Thomas Cook. For antiquities, jewelry, firearms, Mexican curios, genuine Aztec jewelry and artifacts. Weston's Mexican Art Shop not only offered an
exceptional stock, but also shipping services anywhere in the world for those who liked to shop and items priced in U.S. Dollars. Tom Weston had been educated in San Antonio, Texas, and would eventually expand the family business, but also became a noted gunsmith, firearms expert, and well known for the manufacture of scale model miniature firearms. In the 1940's and 1950's Texas gun collectors haunted Tom Weston's store, purchasing such iconic pieces as the famed "Thumb Print Walker" Colt, serial number 1078 and discovered by Tom (sold in 2014 for $475,000), or, as depicted in these photographs an entire range of Colt firearms, such as cased sets, identified Texas Colt revolvers 1836-1839, pocket colts, 1839-41, Baby Colts 1839-41, Texas Conversion 1836, and the 1845 Walker Patterson Colt. Two photographs show the historic Belgian double action and double barrel 18-shot Pinfire Revolver for Emperor Maximilian, serial No. 1476, who was executed in 1867 by firing squad. Another photo No. 131-A shows a
pistol engraved for General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana below the barrel in front of the trigger, quite similar to the storied pair now housed in Texas. In addition, these images show for sale a chased flintlock rifle made in 1810 from the war for Mexican Independence, with ownership name on the stock of Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon; a flintlock pistol made by Claude Niquet (ca. 1740-1770) in stock at 2500 pesos; a flintlock pistol given in 1851 to Francisco Samanieago with maker's mark of Bermann Mars, Cal. 9 on the barrel. A few of the images depict miniature artillery pieces, gun carriage, ammunition case, and working trunnion complete with ramrods & shells with label marking one as Canon de A 8 No. 2, Chapultepec Julio. No similar photographs, or photograph archives located.
Inventory Number: 49344