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    William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody: A Rare and Colorful Early Poster. While it is undated, the style suggests that this poster probably dates from the late 1870s. The central image of Cody is surrounded by vignettes depicting different eras of his varied career: as wagon train master, justice of the peace, Pony Express rider, trapper, Overland stagecoach driver, Indian fighter, buffalo hunter, and guide to visiting royalty. Cody is shown slaying the Cheyenne chief Yellow Hand ("the first scalp to avenge Custer") in 1876, but significantly is nowhere depicted as a Wild West showman, which would seem to confirm the poster's early dating. Also depicted are honors given to him by the U.S. Congress and European royalty. One of the most elusive and graphically sophisticated of Buffalo Bill poster designs. In pleasing overall display condition, although it is somewhat evenly toned and is slightly trimmed. A little very trivial edge damage and tear above "Chief of Scouts" in the upper left-hand corner. A rare opportunity for the advanced collector of Buffalo Bill ephemera. 17.75" x 24".

    Additional research has determined that this poster was issued to promote the wild west show known as "Cody and Carver's Rocky Mountain and Prairie Exhibition," which existed for only a six month period in 1883. Type at the top and bottom of the poster advertising a specific performance has been trimmed off. A complete example is pictured in the book Buffalo Bill's Wild West by R.L. Wilson with Greg Martin, (New York: Random House, 1998), page 45.

    This was Buffalo Bill's first foray in the world of wild west show promotion. The partners had a falling out and became implacable enemies, but "Doc" Carver remained active as a trick shooter and show promoter for many years. See lots 38337 - 38341 in this auction for some additional significant Carver material.


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    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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