MORE BUFFALO BILL WILD WEST SHOW TARGET COINS
The E-Sylum (7/11/2010)
The recent E-Sylum discussion about the possible Annie Oakley target coin has prompted me to write concerning other American marksman target coins, and to call the readers' attention to numismatic connections in an unusual place, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming.
My wife Jane and I visited this large and intriguing museum in 2008, as part of our vacation to Yellowstone and the surrounding area. The museum has a fine display of Annie Oakley material. There are no target coins shown as evidence of her skills, but another case has a display of coins shot up by one Dr. W. F. (Doc) Carver. (See photos - please pardon the glare off the case and the coins.)
According to the label explaining the Exhibit:
Dr. W. F. Carver (1840 1927) was a Nebraska dentist noted for his sharpshooting. In 1883 he was Buffalo Bills partner for the first season of the Wild West show. Later he gave shooting exhibitions and starred in his own and other shows.
Doc Carvers famous saddle is decorated with U.S. and foreign coins, shot by Carver during his arena act.
Sure enough, the saddle has a decorative extension of the back panel with many Morgan dollars and other silver coins pierced by gunshots: a wonderful piece of western Americana. The coins in Carver's saddle include foreign silver, so this supports the idea that the "Annie Oakley" French copper cannot be dismissed because of the nationality of the coin.
The label on the statue reads:
James E. Fraser (1876 1953)
modeled ca. 1917
cast posthumously 1968
Jane was very understanding as I marveled over these unexpected numismatic wonders in a museum we visited because of our interest in horses.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: RERUN: HISTORY DETECTIVES TACKLE PURPORTED ANNIE OAKLEY COIN (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n26a11.html)