Description[Texas Rangers]. John S. "Rip" Ford Half-Plate Ambrotype, circa 1858. Approximately 3.5" x 4.75" (case is 4.75" x 6"). With hand-tinted rose to the cheeks and light blue to the pants, this portrait features the legendary Texas Ranger at the apex of his career, likely May 1858, near the time of the Antelope Hills Campaign. Ford's fringed buckskin coat, gauntlets, and flap revolver holsters appear well worn. In his right hand he holds a flat-brimmed, high-crowned hat. The holstered revolvers appear to be a Colt Dragoon and a Colt Walker, which weighed almost ten pounds together.
Rip Ford was one of the most well-known and influential Texas Rangers throughout the 1850s. He joined the Rangers during the Mexican War, gaining the full trust of his commander, Colonel Jack Hays. From January through May 1858, he participated in the Antelope Hills Expedition in which his Rangers, along with allied Indians, pursued Comanche Indians from West Texas to Indian Territory, concluding with a victory at the Battle of Little Robe Creek and killing Comanche Chief Iron Jacket.
Moderate wear to the original leather embossed case, which is lined with embossed velvet. The cover has detached from the base. The ambrotype exhibits some crazing along the right side of the image; scattered loss of emulsion to the background and on Ford's coat.
This image has appeared in numerous books, including Lone Star Justice, Robert M. Utley, and The Art of the Gun: Magnificent Colts.
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