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Lot 0097
The lot features a wonderfully historic and important Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Saddle Ring Carbine from the Battle of Wounded Knee circa 1890. The carbine shows the correct 22 inch round barrel with the correct “V P (eagle head) / P” markings. The receiver still shows the original black paint finish and is also correctly marked, “US MODEL 1873” along with the “154490” serial number. The receiver plate is marked “US SPRINGFIELD (with the US bald eagle seal)”. Along the original factory wood stock was found various Togia Language carvings and some English markings. The carbine has been examined and authenticated by renowned historian and Togia language expert, Wendell Grangaard of The Guns of History, Inc. The stock is marked on the left side, “61 (son in Togia) Blue Bird / Bud Wilson / Lagrande / OR / 65” along with “IKE ANDhvil.” It is also marked on the left side in Togia language carvings, “Blue Bird / Wounded Knee / Death / Ravine / Pocket.” The right side of the stock is marked in Togia language carvings, “Black Elk rode with friend Red Crow / Afraid / Death / Pocket Ravine / Wounded Knee Creek.” Below is a telling of the Wounded Knee event’s that led to the acquisition of this firearm as told from the book, “American Carnage: Wounded Knee, 1890” by Jerome A. Green University of Oklahoma Press Norman 2014 page 284 and 285. The day of the Wounded Knee Massacre, Black Elk rode with a number of companions from the Pine Ridge Agency towards the sounds of discharging Hotchkiss Machine Guns, with Blue Bird believed to be part of this group. As Black Elk and his friend Red Crow rode down into the ravine, he later recalled, “Almost everyone in the ravine was dead. We watched as two boys killed soldiers with weapons they had taken from dead soldiers. We had no guns.” Black Elk and Red Crow found two babies alive and loaded them up. Blue Bird helped a wounded woman and found a carbine lying by a dead soldier. He pulled the wounded woman up behind him on his horse. They rode to Manderson and then to the Stronghold. Blue Bird was going to use the carbine at the Last Battle, but Red Cloud talked him out of it. The carbine was in the Sioux cache for s short time. This Springfield Trapdoor Model 1873 was manufactured in 1881 with only 501 carbines being made that year. It is believed that the Blue Bird Indian from this story and carved into the carbine is Blue Bird an Oglala Sioux Warrior. Included in the documentation for the piece is a photograph from the Smithsonian archives showing Bluebird a Dakota – Santee Sioux, the photograph was taken by A. Zero Shindler, in 1867. Bluebird (or Blue Bird) is listed as being one of the Indian Police Agents from the Pine Ridge Indian Agency and that he was given the job by Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy. A few Battle of the Wounded Knee Springfield trapdoor carbines have come on the market with some selling in excess of $15,000, one at $11,000, and the other at $12,650. We believe that this is one of the most historic and well documented Wounded Knee Massacre carbine that was picked up from the battlefield by an Indian Warrior that has ever come onto the public market. The rifle comes with the signed letter describing the piece’s history from Wendell Grangaard along with detailed illustrations showing the markings he has translated. Wendell Grangaard is the foremost knowledge on the Togia language along with the Battle of the Little Bighorn as he is the author of the book, “Documenting the Weapons Used at Little Bighorn” 2015. Wendell was also intricate in the authentication and examination of the historic George Armstrong Custer Captured Sharps Carbine from Chief Black Kettle that sold at auction for $127,000. Comes with documentation including a detailed description authenticating the piece signed by Wendell, along with illustrations showing the Togia language carvings. From the excellent Indian Firearm collection of Steve Livermore of Fort Pierre, South Dakota. McGillycuddy was very close friends with Crazy Horse while posted as the Assistant Post Surgeon at Fort Robinson in what is now Nebraska. McGillycuddy was documented as taking the Colt Single Action Army from Moses Milner “California Joe” after his death and later issuing it to Indian Policeman at Pine Ridge Agency to Afraid of Eagle, another firearm offered in this sale.


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Wounded Knee Massacre Springfield 1873 Carbine

Estimate $7,500 - $20,000Sep 30, 2017