Sep 24, 2020 - Sale 2546

Sale 2546 - Lot 15

Price Realized: $ 625
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(AMERICAN INDIANS--PHOTOGRAPHS.) George W. Scott. Cabinet card of the Sioux chief Big Head, with Scott's sale letter. 3 items, various sizes and conditions. Fort Yates, ND, 1894 and undated

Additional Details

George W. Scott (1854-1910) spent his career alternating between Army work in the signal service and weather bureau, and as a professional photographer in various western towns. His letter sheds interesting light on the business practices of the early Indian photographers.
Albumen photograph, 5 1/4 x 4 inches, on photographer's "Fort Yates, Dakota" mount, with pencil caption "Big Head" on mount recto and longer caption "Big Head, Yanktonais Sioux Chief under Two Bears" repeated on verso; moderate foxing and minimal wear.
Autograph Letter Signed from Scott to Charles F. Fish of Fall River, MA. 2 pages, written on an Army Signal Service telegraph blank. In part: "I have none of the Indian photos you mention. Spotted Eagle can be obtained of R.L. Kelly, Pierre, SD. Crow Dog, Spotted Tail, Red Cloud & son, of W.R. Cross, Ft. Meade, S.D. and some of balance any way of Mr. D.F. Barry, West Superior Wis. The only photos of note that I have aside from the principal chiefs, Gall, Rain in the Face, Sitting Bull, John Grass, Mad Bear, and Big Head, are Wolf Necklace (decorated with 9 scalps), Hairy Chin, Long Dog, Mrs. Two Bear & papoose, "Scarlet Woman" (mother of the new Messiah), a miniature of Sitting Bull's Ghost Dance, besides others in native dress, dance costumes &c &c." Fort Yates, ND, 8 December [1894]. With envelope addressed to Fish postmarked Mandan, SD, 19 January 1895.