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MORE BUFFALO BILL WILD WEST SHOW TARGET COINS

The E-Sylum (7/11/2010)


Book Content

E-Sylum readers can locate numismatic connections not matter how obscure. Bob Evans submitted these thoughts and photos inspired by an earlier E-Sylum topic. -Editor

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 Bill’s partner for the first season of the Wild West show. Later he gave shooting exhibitions and starred in his own and other shows.

Doc Carver’s famous saddle is decorated with U.S. and foreign coins, shot by Carver during his arena act.”

Doc Carver Saddle Doc Carver Saddle Detail

Dr. Carver Shot Dollar 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.




Fraser-Buffalo Prayer Elsewhere on the museum grounds I was delighted to find a large sculpture with an indirect numismatic connection: “Buffalo Prayer,” by James Earle Fraser.

The label on the statue reads:

James E. Fraser (1876 – 1953)
Buffalo Prayer
modeled ca. 1917
cast posthumously 1968
Bronze

Jane was very understanding as I marveled over these unexpected numismatic wonders in a museum we visited because of our interest in horses.

It's amazing what numismatic connections readers of The E-Sylum turn up. I've got to say, this is the largest collection of shot-thru coins I've ever seen. Thanks! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: RERUN: HISTORY DETECTIVES TACKLE PURPORTED ANNIE OAKLEY COIN (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n26a11.html)

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