Vintage Wild West Show Posters

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wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:34:32

Vintage Wild West Show Posters are posters originally designed to advertise travelling shows which featured performers from the American Old West.

Brief history and description

The Wild West Shows were a series of travelling performances in America and Europe, which roughly ran between the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The Wild West Shows focused on the American Old West as well as the development of the American frontier, and symbolized American history and patriotism. The shows consisted of trick performances, animals and various characters and individuals who defined the American frontier such as Buffalo Bill, Will Rogers, Jess Willard, Buck Taylor and many more.

Guide for collectors

Buffalo Bill Wild West Show posters are considered to be the most rare and valuable, as his shows were the the earliest and most iconic. Running from 1883 to 1913, Buffalo Bill popularised the Wild West shows and created a romantic vision of the Old West which made him an international celebrity.

Other notable showmen of the period include Pawnee Bill, Buckskin Joe, Mexican Joe and Dr W.F Carver, and although not as renowned as Buffalo Bill their original show posters remain popular with collectors.

Restoration of a vintage Wild West Show poster is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. However, restoring the poster may decrease its value.

For more information regarding vintage Wild West Show posters, visit The Spartacus Educational's official website or the Buffalo Bill Museum's official website.

Value

Brian Lebel's Old West Auction in Los Angeles, California sold a Wyoming Bill's Wild West Show poster (81.5" x 107.5") featuring a Native American on a horse spearing a buffalo for $5,900 in June of 2005.

Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati, Ohio sold Pawnee Bill's Wild West and Great Far East Show full-sheet poster for $2,200 in December of 2009.

Showtime Auction Services in Woodhaven, Michigan sold a Buffalo Bill Wild West Show poster titled "Life on the Plaines" (10' x 7') for $3,750 in October of 2010.

Mosby & Co. Auctions in Frederick, Maryland sold a Tim McCoy Wild West Show poster featuring three men on horses and jumping over a brick wall for $300 in April of 2012.

Burley Auction Group in New Braunfels, Texas sold a Gene Autry Wild West Show poster (circa 1957) for $50 in October of 2006.

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