The classic Las Cruces-style bit combines inlaid silver on the cheeks and a high dome concho as a mouthpiece cover. The silverwork on the outside of the cheeks is pierced and inlaid and given an antique finish. The entire inside of the cheek is ornately engraved and features a biblical verse cut into the steel surface. John built a set of triple slobber chains with a flower connected at their center. The 4-inch tall spade mouth is engraved and of the Spanish spade top style. The reins and headstall were made by an Argentine braider.
JOHN MINCER, Bitmaker, Fallon, Nevada
John Mincer has been a lifelong resident of Nevada and the Great Basin region. He first learned engraving at a cow camp in the Stillwater Range in Nevada. Chet Smith taught him most of what he needed to send him on his way as a silversmith and engraver. He later learned to build bits and spurs from Dan Price and was influenced by Hugh Weaver, but refining the art and developing his own style he credits to master engraver Franz Marktl.
Photos by Jeremiah Watt