North American Auction Company
Live Auction

Legends of the West: Western & Native American Sale

Sat, Sep 23, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 9

C. 1870-1880's Chief Crow Eagle Photo - R.L. Kelly

Estimate: $400 - $600

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
This is an original circa 1870-1880’s photograph of Chief Crow Eagle by R.L. Kelly Pierre, South Dakota. The cabinet card original albumen photograph is handwritten on the back in fountain pen ink, “A Sioux, formerly First Sergeant of an Indian Cavalry Troop.” The photograph is by R.L. Kelly of Pierre, South Dakota Territory, he is said to photograph as early as circa 1860-1870’s from Pierre, South Dakota Territory and later worked with partner, M.B. Odell of Deadwood. Known for taking the iconic photograph of Sitting Bull with a Monarch Butterfly pinned to his hat in 1883. History of Chief Crow Eagle is hard to deduce, some mention him being born around mid-1800’s being the son of a Brule warrior named Big Warrior who was a Creek Indian Chief and married Two Kettle a Sioux woman. This could be his son or another. The piece is marked in the negative “Crow Eagle, Chief” and on the cabinet card “R.L. Kelly Pierre S.D.” The photograph shows a Native American man’s portrait wearing a jacket with handkerchief around his neck and pocket watch chain coming from his vest pocket. Provenance: From the Jim Aplan Piedmont, South Dakota collection. The cabinet card measures 6.5” by 4.25”.

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