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  GIANT FORMAT BUFFALO BILL WILD WEST SHOW POSTER, 1908, STROBRIDGE LITHOGRAPH CO., CINCINNATI & NEW YORK
Dimensions (inches): frame - 99.25" x 48.25", work - 79.5" x 36.25"
Description:
This exceptionally graphic and colorful, three-sheet poster, was produced in 1908 by Strobridge Lithograph Company for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Measuring approximately six-and-a-half feet in height and dated in two places, this is the quintessential image of the master showman himself, astride his horse and with hat tipped, wearing his classic yellow buckskin shirt, on an open prairie landscape. Below him, in persimmon red, is the simple title: "Col. W.F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill"." In the lower left, above Cody's name, is a maker's mark that reads: "Copyright 1908 by The Strobridge Litho Co.; Cincinnati & New York."

Colonel William F. Cody was born on February 26th, 1846, in the Iowa Territory, ten months before it gained statehood and two months before the outbreak of the Mexican War (1846-48). Slightly too young to enlist at the opening of the Civil War (1861-65), in 1863 he was taken on as a teamster, with the rank of private, and assigned to Co. H of the 7th Kansas Cavalry (Union). Cody served until the war's end, then was hired as a civilian scout in 1866, taking after his old friend, Wild Bill Hickok, who was employed as the same. Over the next few years Cody scouted under both George Custer and Phil Sheridan, among others. His most famous feat took place in 1868, when he rode solo between six forts, covering a distance of 350 miles in just 58 hours, the last 35 miles of which he traversed on foot.

Cody received his nickname in the same brief period, between 1867 and 1868, when, working for the Kansas Pacific Railroad to provide food for its laborers, he is said to have killed 4,282 bison.

Operating under the name "Rocky Mountain and Prairie Exhibition, Buffalo Bill opened his Wild West show on May 19th, 1883, in Omaha, Nebraska. Over the years it featured many famous western personalities, including Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, Texas Jack Omohundro, plus Native Americans Geronimo and Sitting Bull. Immensely successful, the show toured America and Europe for 30 years until the cost overruns of outfitting, transporting, feeding, and paying an army of performers and animals finally forced it into bankruptcy.

Strobridge Lithography company was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in about 1847 by Elijah C. Middleton. Also operating as a bookstore and stationary, it was focused on both copperplate and steel engravings. Strobridge became world famous for its colorful, detailed, high quality designs. By the turn-of-the-century, it had become the largest producer of circus and theatrical posters in America. The firm operated until 1960, when it was purchased by the H.S. Crocker Company of San Bruno, California.

Mounting: The poster has been professionally mounted to canvas. The mat was covered in black cotton twill that was washed and treated to reduce and set the dye. The mount was placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding, with a substantial ogee profile and a rippled inner edge. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic.

Condition: Professional repairs were made by a previous owner to mend creases and fill losses. This was so exceptionally well done that you have to look hard to see it.
   
Primary Color: yellow, green
Earliest Date: 1908
Latest Date: 1908
For Sale Status: Sold
Price SOLD
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