Sep 30, 2021 - Sale 2580

Sale 2580 - Lot 251

Price Realized: $ 500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
(WEST.) Spooner & Wells, photographers. Members of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show posing in front of Grant's Tomb. 3 silver prints (plus one duplicate), each 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches, with inked stamps of "Spooner & Wells, Inc. Photographers, 1931 Broadway, New York" on verso; light staining and minimal wear. New York, 1908

Additional Details

These photographs are uncaptioned, but the Detroit Public Library holds examples which are captioned "Wild West Shows--Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, 1908." The Wild West Show performed in Manhattan from late April through early May 1908, so these photographs may date from that period, although the scarves and winter coats suggest otherwise. The photographers were best known for their work promoting the young automobile industry. One image shows 22 warmly dressed performers piled high in 3 matching cars (this one also available in duplicate), and another shows 9 of them in a car. Finally we see 19 of them posed on the curb in full western regalia. Their winter coats can be seen piled in the background to the right. We can't identify any specific Wild West performers in these shots (Cody did not make the shoot), but they are definitely not typical Manhattan tourists.