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    William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody: An Important Early 1873 Presentation Cane, with Signed Transmittal Note. The elaborately filigreed gold-finish handle is engraved "Will Cody to Geo. R. Guss". With it is a handwritten note: "To My Little friend from W. F. Cody Buffalo Bill June 25 / 73".

    George R. Guss was the son of Brevet Brigadier General Henry Guss whose stepmother was also a stepmother to Buffalo Bill's mother, Mary Laycock Cody. Henry had married Mary's half-sister Eliza, so George was Bill's cousin. Cody first met the Guss family during his visit to the East in 1872 at the invitation of General Sheridan, James Gordon Bennett (of the New York Herald), and other swells. It was Ned Buntline who actually guided Cody from NYC to Westchester, Pennsylvania, and the Guss home. In his autobiography, Bill says of George's sister, "Lizzie Guss, my cousin, I thought was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen." The next year, 1873, was Cody's first as an actor, and he visited Westchester and the Guss family once more. In fact, he and Louisa stayed with the Gusses for most of the summer until moving to Rochester, N.Y. According to leading Cody scholar Paul Fees, it was most likely then that he gave his Medal of Honor to either Gen. Guss or to Lizzie, and the cane to George.

    This fine, documented cane is one of the earliest Cody artifacts we have ever encountered. Length 36". Excellent condition, with two minor small dimples in the handle, mentioned for accuracy.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2017
    2nd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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