Five rare and vintage Buffalo Bill posters bring a combined $59,398 at Philip Weiss Auctions Apr. 20 The Wild West came charging into Long Island when a group of five Buffalo Bill posters fetched a combined $59,398 at an auction held Apr. 20 by Philip Weiss Auctions in the firm’s new Lynbrook gallery
News-Antique.com - Apr 25,2013 - (LYNBROOK, N.Y.) – The Wild West came charging into Long Island when a group of five Buffalo Bill posters fetched a combined $59,398 at an auction held Apr. 20 by Philip Weiss Auctions, in the firm’s new gallery located at 74 Merrick Road in Lynbrook. The sale was a huge success, and a big boost for a company that was displaced in November by Hurricane Sandy.
The auction was dedicated almost entirely to rare and vintage posters, many of which were in remarkable condition. A small but high-quality collection of Wild West and circus posters headlined the event and in some cases brought record prices. World Wars I and II posters were also featured. In all, 296 lots changed hands in an auction that grossed around $185,000.
The top-selling Buffalo Bill poster was an iconic image of the legendary soldier, bison hunter and showman himself (real name: William F. Cody, 1946-1917). The 1907 Courier litho, measuring 28 inches by 42 inches, showed an image of a running buffalo with a portrait bust of Col. Cody inset into the animal’s side. Expected to fetch $4,000, the poster hit a record $18,975.
Following close behind was an exceedingly rare French poster showing Buffalo Bill, President William McKinley (elected in 1896) and two small vignettes (one for Cody Day at the Omaha Exposition of 1898 and one of an image of his first cabin). The 1899 litho, by Enquirer, had dates at the bottom (Sept. 18-20) for an appearance in Antwerp, Belgium. It rose to $17,825.
Placing third was a classic, and perhaps the most formidable of all the Buffalo Bill posters. It was a rare three-sheet version by Strobridge, printed in 1908 and showing a full-length rendering of Buffalo Bill on a horse. It was large, measuring 80 inches by 30 inches, and was in “apparent” (not examined out of the frame) A condition. The impressive poster sold for $13,800.
Rounding out the group was a very early image of the Buffalo Bill Wild West cowboys on the prairie, by Forbes Company (Boston), executed circa 1880s ($5,463); and a poster titled Highly Trained Texas Range & Ranch Horses (Strobridge, 1907), advertising the Buffalo Bill Wild West Shows. Restored along the center fold and in apparent B condition, it made $3,335.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. Internet bidding was facilitated by Proxibid.com and Auctionzip.com. All prices quoted include a 15 percent buyer’s premium.
A rare and early Stobridge poster for P.T. Barnum’s The Greatest Show on Earth and London Circus (featuring Louisa Boshell, Queen of the Floating Wire), 31 inches by 21 inches and in apparent A condition, fetched $9,775; and a Barnum & Bailey poster showing a German artistic collage, by Courier Litho (Buffalo, N.Y., circa 1890s), condition B, coasted to $4,255.
An original circa 1930s poster for the Pennsylvania Railroad, promoting “Atlantic City – America’s All-Year Resort” (by Edward M. Eggleston, 1833-1941), showing a beautiful woman holding a green towel with the beach, boardwalk and buildings as a backdrop,