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    William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody: A Rare and Colorful Early Poster. This poster was issued in 1883 to promote Buffalo Bill Cody's first-ever foray into Wild West shows. The show, known as "Wild West: Hon. W. F. Cody and Dr. W. F. Carver's Rocky Mountain and Prairie Exhibition," opened at Omaha, Nebraska, on May 19, 1883. It lasted only for a six-month period before the partners had a falling-out and became implacable enemies. Cody went on with his legendary Wild West shows and Carver remained active as a trick shooter and show promoter for many years.

    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 confirm the poster's early dating to the beginning of that career.. 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". 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.

    Due to a computer error when this auction was posted on our web site, some clients were inadvertently able to place bids at below the established minimum bids published in the catalog. This has been corrected, and the minimum required bid now posted above either reflects that required opening bid or bidding action at or above the starting bid.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2012
    10th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,285

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