A necklace and six-shooter that once belonged to famed Western showman Buffalo Bill recently garnered $80,000 at a Texas auction. Born William Frederick Cody in 1846, Buffalo Bill earned his nickname after scoring a contract with the Kansas Pacific Railroad to supply the workers with buffalo meat. He would later go on to develop his popular Wild West-themed show that toured everywhere from the U.S. to Europe. Cody's possessions were sold as part of a Western Americana auction held in Dallas. That auction featured many notable lots of Western antiques and collectibles, the most exciting of which were those items connected to the poster child of the Wild West.
The life of Buffalo Bill Cody
After spending his childhood in the Iowa Territory, Canada and the Kansas Territory, Cody went on to work for the Pony Express at the young age of 14. Three years later he took up arms to fight in the American Civil War until it ended in 1865. After that, he entered into his contract with the Kansas Pacific railroad. His prowess as a hunter was widely reported, with rumors circulating that he took down 4,282 American bison in only 18 months. It was this talent with a gun that earned Cody his famous nickname.
In the late 1800s, the Wild West shows of Ned Buntine were incredibly popular. These shows were part-play, part-circus spectacles that sought to bring the cowboy lifestyle and persona to a large audience. Cody starred in a number of those shows before developing his own, titled "Buffalo Bill's Wild West," in 1883. This popular attraction toured the U.S., Canada and Europe for a number of years before Cody's death in 1917. The show did a lot to influence the mythology surrounding the old American West, introducing the country to superstars such as Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane and WIld Bill Hickok.
Necklace and gun
The two items that once belonged to Buffalo Bill were a bear claw necklace and a six-shooter revolver. The necklace is reported to have been a gift from the Sioux warrior chief Sitting Bull – an iconic symbol of the American West in his own right. In addition, the 1873 Frontier Six-Shooter Revolver is thought to have been purchased by Cody from Hartley & Graham in New York City in 1883. Both lots were sold individually for $40,625, according to the AP.
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