NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — A collection of historical items with ties to North Platte will be sold at auction later this month.
Among other things, the memorabilia include approximately 600 photographs, a hat, a poster and a film reel that once belonged to William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody.
“It's the largest collection of personal family photographs of Buffalo Bill ever to come to the auction block,” said Evan Sikes, marketing and communications director for Cowan's Auctions Inc. “It was brought to our attention about a year ago. We eventually got it.”
According to Sikes, the items were offered by Cody's great-granddaughter, Patricia “Patsy” Ann Garlow. Sikes tracked the family lineage for verification purposes before the items were listed for sale.
He confirmed that the memorabilia were originally Cody's and that they were passed down through the family.
The collection was loaned to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo., in the 1960s. It remained there until the family took it back in the late 1990s.
A family album containing 301 photographs will be one of the featured items up for grabs. Sikes said it includes professional portraits of Cody's family in addition to images of the Wild West show and Western scenery. The estimated value is $8,000 to $10,000.
“That will be sold as a whole, but many of the other photographs will be divided into lots,” Sikes said. “For example, if we have two photos that are similar, we will put them together. There will be 213 lots total.”
Many of the pictures are of Cody in North Platte. There are also some of him in Bath, England, and at the foot of Mount Vesuvius in Naples, Italy.
In other photographs, Cody can be seen with the prince of Monaco in Wyoming and meeting the shah of Persia in Vichy, France, in 1905.
Two of the last pictures ever taken of Cody will be available.
One was shot five days before his death on Jan. 10, 1917.
The other is of Cody with his doctor at Glenwood Springs, Colo.
“It's tough to say what the value of the entire collection will be,” Sikes said.
“It just depends on who you have out there bidding.”
The auction is scheduled for Jan. 31 in Cincinnati.
Sikes said those unable to attend in person can bid absentee, via the phone or online.