Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Five Target Balls and a Clay Pigeon. The glass balls are all about 2.5" in diameter and about 3" tall, including the nipple. The clay pigeon is 4.5" in diameter and 1.125" deep. It has a paper tab that extends about 1". All are in excellent condition. This lot is from the collection of Bess Edwards, grand-niece of Annie Oakley, and will be accompanied by a signed letter from her authenticating this item as described. For more information, please click here.

    Beginning in the mid-1870s, more and more shooters began to use glass balls as targets rather than live birds. Buffalo Bill's Wild West used glass balls at first before switching to black balls made from a resinous compound. It seems that the shattered glass in the arena was becoming a hazard to livestock (and to people). The change to clay pigeons came about slowly after the invention of a satisfactory composition target, shaped like a shallow bowl, by Ohio's George Ligowsky. The versatility of the clay pigeon has led to its becoming the standard shotgun target.

    (1) Amber crosshatched ball, "Bogardus Glass Ball/ Patd Apr. 10 1877." Adam Bogardus was a champion American shooter whose raised crosshatch design was intended to prevent shotgun pellets from simply ricocheting off the surface, making the ball more likely to break if hit by one or two pellets. This one has an interesting casting flaw where the two hemispheres meet.
    (2) Blue crosshatched ball made by Van Gutsem of St. Quentin, France, circa 1890.
    (3) Amber smooth ball, "Ira Paine's Filled Ball/Pat. Oct. 23, 1877." Paine, another American champion shooter invented a ball filled with feathers that would look more realistically like a "kill" when hit. This one lacks its feathers.
    (4) Pale green crosshatched ball made by Perth N. B. Glass Works, England, circa 1890.
    (5) Cobalt blue crosshatched ball with no maker's name but possibly made in France by the Van Gutsem company.
    (6) Ligowsky patent clay pigeon with its paper or pasteboard throwing tab.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    24th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,867

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Nov 24, 2013 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 October 9 Americana & Political Signature Auction Featuring the Michael Ward Collection - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search