My Collection: Branding Irons

Laurel Denton shares her collection of branding irons.

Mallory Beinborn

The Collector

Laurel Denton, Skull Valley, Arizona

The Collection

“These branding irons are signs of hard work, pride, and dedication,” Denton says.

“I see the brands of my sister and mine, given to us as children,” she continues. “You can see the smaller U and ‘bar’ irons that were meant for our ranch’s younger calves. The smaller irons allow the brand to grow with the animal.

“The iron in the middle, which looks like a big hook, is called a running iron,” Denton explains. “It’s been many years since we used this iron, but it’s a reminder of the days with no fences. A cowboy tied this running iron on his saddle, and when he found a ‘long ear,’ he roped and branded the calf in a freehand sort of way. These branding
irons invoke a feeling of love of my land,
my animals, and
my country.”

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