May 05, 2016 - Sale 2413

Sale 2413 - Lot 22

Price Realized: $ 4,420
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
"THE INDIAN ON THE BUFFALO NICKEL" TWO GUNS WHITE CALF. Photograph postcard Signed with his pictogram, bust portrait by Hileman, showing him in profile. Signed in the image, lower right. The verso, inscribed with a note [by a park visitor] to a friend: "This is the Indian on the Buffalo Nickel, and I had him autograph this card for your collection. We are having a fine trip." 1-cent Benjamin Franklin stamp at upper right is cancelled with a postmark dated from Yellowstone National Park on August 29, 1929. 5 1/4x3 1/4 inches; few dents affecting head, minor scattered soiling, some silvering to dark areas, plastic lamination overall verso. [Glacier National Park, MT, 1929]

Additional Details

The "Buffalo Nickel," which featured the profiles of a Native American head on one side and a buffalo on the other, was in circulation between 1913 and 1938. Upon the coin's release, publicists for the new hotel at Glacier National Park in Montana saw a striking similarity between the head of Two Guns White Calf and the head rendered on the nickel. The publicists claimed that Two Guns White Calf had been a model for the coin and employed him as a Park attraction, but there arose some controversy about whose portrait appeared on the nickel. Since the coin's designer, James Earle Fraser, could not recall all the models used for the design, the publicists could not be contradicted in their claim.