William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917) was an American soldier, Western scout, buffalo hunter and most notably, a showman. Cody founded the “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” in North Platte, Nebraska in 1883. His Wild West shows toured North America and Europe for decades until his death in 1917.
The majority of the items included in the January 31 auction passed down directly through in the family of William F. Cody’s daughter, Irma Louise Cody Garlow (1884-1918). Irma married Frederick Harrison Garlow Sr and had three children: Frederick Harrison Garlow Jr, William Joseph Garlow, and Jane Cody Garlow Hallehan-Keane. When their parents died two days apart in the influenza pandemic of 1918, their grandmother, Louisa Cody, raised the three children. Fred Garlow Jr married Margaret Sutherland and they had two children: Patricia Ann Garlow (b. 1948) and Mark Frederick Garlow (b. 1952). Most of these items were in the possession of Patricia (Patsy) Ann Garlow’s family, Buffalo Bills’ direct great-granddaughter. From the 1960s to the late 1990s, the items in the collection were on loan to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming.
One of the featured items in the sale is a Cody family photograph album, including 301 personal and professional portraits; and photos of Wild West Show performers and Western scenery (est. $8,000/$10,000). Another lot, consisting of two albums of William F. Cody at Leisure, compiled and presented by the illustrator R. Farrington Elwell, is expected to sell for $6,000/$8,000.
Other exceptional photographs in the auction include three large-format photographs by Grabill of Indian Chiefs and U.S. officials, including William F. Cody at Wounded Knee. These three photographs will be offered as lot numbers 11, 12 and 13. All three are expected to bring $1,000/$1,500 each at auction.
Many of the images in the sale demonstrate how popular and well-traveled Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show really was. A photograph of the Wild West Show in Naples, Italy, pictured at the foot of Mount Vesuvius is estimated to bring $1,500/$2,500, a large-format portrait of Buffalo Bill Cody in Bath, England, by Walter G. Lewis is expected to sell for $1,000/$1,500; an image of Buffalo Bill Cody meeting the Shah of Persia at a performance in Vichy, France in 1905 is estimated at $800/$1,200; and an exceptional series of four photographs of Buffalo Bill and Wild West Show Indians overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the Cliff House in San Francisco is estimated at $2,500/$3,500.
The January 31st sale includes photographs of William Cody all the way up until his death on January 10th, 1917. Two of the last photographs of Cody, taken five days before his death, with his doctor at Glenwood Springs, Colorado, will hit the auction block with individual estimates of $600/$800.
Additional notable lots include a poster titled “The Life of Buffalo Bill in 3 Reels,” which is estimated to bring $3,000/$5,000; a hat worn by W.F. Cody and given to a Wild West Show advance agent, which is expected to sell for $1,500/$2,500, and a film reel titled “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show: A Grand Review,” which is estimated at $1,000/$1,500.
For more information about the auction call Matt Chapman at 513-871-1670, ext. 216.
# # #
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE