c1885 Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show Souvenir Cabinet Card

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We sold this item at auction for $200
 in May, 2023.

This antique cabinet card features a portrait of two Native American men, captured by the Dresser Studio located at 815 Main Street in Winfield, Kansas.

The photograph, dating back to 1885, offers a glimpse into the cultural heritage of Native American communities during the late 19th century.

A Souvenir of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

Stamped on the reverse side of the card is the inscription: “US – Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show Souvenir, $1.” This marking indicates that the cabinet card was originally sold as a souvenir at Buffalo Bill Cody’s renowned Wild West Show, which toured extensively throughout the United States during the late 1800s.

The photograph’s significance lies in its portrayal of Native American individuals within the context of popular entertainment and cultural exchange during the era of the Wild West Show.

These shows, spearheaded by figures like Buffalo Bill Cody, often featured performances by Native American performers, showcasing their traditional customs, dress, and skills to audiences across the country.

Buffalo Bill Cody’s Entertainment

The Wild West Show, a spectacle of frontier life and Americana, emerged in the late 19th century as a popular form of entertainment across the United States and Europe.

Spearheaded by showman Buffalo Bill Cody, the first Wild West Show debuted in 1883 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Featuring reenactments of cowboy adventures, stagecoach robberies, and displays of marksmanship, the show captured the imagination of audiences with its thrilling portrayal of the Wild West.

Over the years, the Wild West Show toured extensively, captivating audiences with its blend of spectacle, patriotism, and frontier mythology, leaving an indelible mark on popular culture.

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