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Lot 0098
This is an exceptional authentic Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Indian Police Henri Pieper of Liege, Belgium 12-gauge side by side double barrel shotgun used and owned by Chief Iron Tail. The lot features a Henri Pieper of Liege, Belgium Model 1881 double barrel side by side shotgun in a 12 gauge. The shotgun shows wonderfully factory hand engraved fancy side exposed hammers and a double trigger. Along the original wood stock is signed in Togia Language carvings. The shotgun has been examined and authenticated by renowned historian and Togia language expert, Wendell Grangaard of The Guns of History, Inc. The stock is signed in Togia Language carvings very prominently, “Iron Tail” and “Chief” along with being marked with original brass covered iron tacks at the end of the stock with the Red Cloud Bad Face Itesica Band Mark, which Iron Tail belonged to. At the underside of the stock near the pistol grip is stamped, “IT”, typical of the Indian Police stamps used to identify the guns, standing for Iron Tails. Also included on the shotgun is a heavy harness leather shield secured to the stock with iron nails and framed in hand tool/carvings with a silver badge across the top that reads, “Buffalo Bill’s Indian Police / 1891”. Iron Tail (1842-1916), was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief and a star performer with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. Chief Iron Tail was one of the most famous Native American’s of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century including being the subject of the famed United States Indian Head Nickel circa 1913 by James Earle Fraser. William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody told Major Israel McCreight that, “Chief iron Tail is the finest man I know, bar none.” When William F. Cody’s Wild West Show went to Europe in 1887, Chief Iron Tail was appointed as the head of the Indian Police force for the Native Americans traveling with the Wild West Show. This shotgun was purchased by Buffalo Bill Cody when the show was touring Germany and the surrounding countries in 1890 and 1891. Iron Tail was close friend to Buffalo Bill and continued to perform at the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West until its closing in 1913, at which time he joined the Miller Brothers’ 101 Wild West Show. The firearm is marked on each side of the receiver plate, “H. PIEPER. Bte” along with being marked marked across the center barrel rib, “H. PIEPER PATENT 23 APRIL 1881 No. 4783”. The underside of the barrel shows the correct Liege, Belgium proof marks. This is possibly one of the finest Buffalo Bill’s Wild West firearm that has ever come onto the public market and is truly an excellent piece of history. The silver plaque is possibly a posthumous addition to the firearm, but this does not change the very distinct documented signature by Iron Tails and the wonderfully documented addition to Buffalo Bill’s show. 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.

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Buffalo Bill's Wild West Shotgun Chief Iron Tail

Estimate $7,500 - $15,000Sep 30, 2017