DescriptionGeorge Armstrong Custer: Albumen Photograph by James Scholten, Circa 1874. This highly distinctive image depicts Custer in buckskins, with hunting rifle and wearing his trademark red kerchief. It was taken on or about January 24, 1874, by St. Louis photographer James A. Scholten. The occasion was a visit by Russia's Grand Duke Alexis, who wanted to go on a buffalo hunt, and had specifically requested Custer's presence. Guiding the group was William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, and the expedition was headed by General William Tecumseh Sherman. In addition to the hunt, the Russian Duke was treated to dancing performances by over one hundred Sioux braves.
This original version of Scholten's photograph was distributed in very limited numbers as a tipped-in addition to the Philadelphia Photographer, a small publication distributed to professional photographers of the day. While the image was copied widely in cabinet photo form, particularly after Custer's death at the Battle of Little Bighorn, these original images are rare and highly sought after by photography and Western Americana collectors alike. The example offered here, a 5.5" x 4" albumen, is affixed to the 4.25" x 6.75" stiff paper mount with Scholten's logo below, likely trimmed down from the original 9.5" x 6" page. Very good condition with some trivial staining on mount.
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