North American Auction Company
Timed Auction

Last Chance January Passed Lots Offering - Ends February 3rd

Mon, Jan 30, 2023 02:00AM EST - Fri, Feb 3, 2023 03:00PM EST
Lot 167

Buffalo Bill Show Colt 1871-72 Spotted Horn Bull

Estimate: $55,000 - $75,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,500 $250
This is an original rare and historic Colt Model 1871-72 (1871-1872) Open Top .44 caliber revolver from Hunkpapa Sioux, Spotted Horn Bull used at the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show and marked by John M. Burke. Spotted Horn Bull, a Hunkpapa Sioux, was a part of the “Sitting Bull Combination” which was a group of Indians which included Sitting Bull, Spotted Horn Bull, Gray Eagle, Flying By, Long Dog, Crow Eagle and several of their wives. The group went with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, which began in 1884. After the tour he returned with his wife Pretty White Buffalo (Sittings Bull’s full cousin) to the Standing Rock Reservation with Sitting Bull. Earlier Spotted Horn Bull was the principal chief of the Raw Meat Necklace Band and Sitting Bull’s personal guard, fighting many battles with him. His wife, Pretty White Buffalo gave testimony that her husband, her uncles, brother and cousins were all taking part in the Battle of the Little Bighorn / Greasy Grass. Spotted Horn Bull went with Sitting Bull to Canada and after surrendered with him in 1882, setting his lodge down by Sitting Bull’s cabin and later traveling with him in the Wild West Shows. On the tragic day December 15, 1890, when Sitting Bull was killed, Spotted Horn Bull was killed trying to defend him (according to Pretty White Buffalo’s testimony he was unarmed from this revolver because it was in the lodge). She later sold the gun as they had no children to pass it on to. The revolver is a historic and rare Colt Model 1871-1872 (1871-72) Open Top revolver chambered in .44 caliber showing a factory nickel finish with outstanding tusk (i.vory) very old grip scales. Side of the receiver marked “PAT. JULY 25, 1871, / PAT. JULY 2, 1872,”; top of barrel marked in a single address line “ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA”; on the frame / barrel / trigger guard frame / bottom of the grip strap marked with the serial number of 2927 as well as on the cylinder “927” all matching serial numbers. The Model 1871-72 lived only a short 3-year production life but led to critical developments for the renowned Colt Single Action Army, or "Peacemaker". This revolver in particular shows standard features of a Colt Open-Top, utilizing a 7 ½ inch barrel, six-shot cylinder, i.vory tusk grips, rear barrel mounted v-notch sight, paired with a silver / nickel blade front sight, and an underlug cartridge extractor. The hammer pulls back clicking twice and locking into place all while turning the cylinder, the trigger releases the hammer; all appearing to function correctly. The side shows the barrel wedge with the set screw above it missing. The nickel finish is prominent and the majority of the screws on the gun are in good clean condition. Only approx. 7,000 of these 1871-72 revolvers were produced between 1872 and 1873. One the side of the right tusk grip shows as clear as day the crisscrossing carved signature which was examined by Wendall Grangaard (from The Guns of History, Inc in Sioux Falls, South Dakota) and found to be Lakota Togia signed Spotted Horn Bull (an illustration is included). The inside of the backstrap just behind the trigger guard the pistol is hand etched with the numbers 42595 (4 2 5 9 5), believed to be ownership mark of the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show, placed there by John M. Burke. Included is the signed certificate of historical evaluation by Wendell Grangaard. The revolver is confirmed as being owned by historic figure Spotted Horn Bull and was used at the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show as well as potentially used during countless battles to the aid of Sitting Bull and possibly Little Bighorn. Antique Firearm does NOT require FFL transfer.