North American Auction Company
Live Auction

New Year January Western Collector Sale

Sat, Jan 23, 2021 11:00AM EST
Lot 329

Cheyenne Dog Soldier Polycrhome War Shield

Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $5
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$25,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000
The lot features an unusual and rare polychrome painted Buffalo hide shield attributed to the Northern Cheyenne “Dog Soldiers”. Provenance: The piece was said to have been acquired by Sgt. Daniel Garvey from a Cheyenne warrior’s widow at Camp Robinson Nebraska (later called Fort Robinson). When the piece was later acquired by Reverend Joseph Ward at the near by Pine Ridge Indian Reservation it was said the woman’s husband was from the Cheyenne band of Dog Soldiers. Reverend Joseph Ward put the piece on display in his American Indian Museum display at the newly founded Indian College in Yankton, South Dakota. The museum closed in 1984 and the contents were sold to artifact dealer Jim Aplan of Piedmont, South Dakota. Aplan also bought from this deaccession sale or auction Sioux Chief Red Cloud’s tomahawk which he later sold to Michigan collector Dick Pohrt. Aplan later sold this shield to wealthy collector Cyrus Eaton of London, England in 1985 along with other rare objects. The shield is comprised of a Indian brain-tanned Buffalo Bison hide wetted and stretched over a bent wood frame and secured with Buffalo hide lacing and old hide glue. The original long, hide shoulder strap is still attached at the rear. The shield exhibits old polychrome pigment paint in a geometric symbolic pattern in colors of red, blue, yellow and black (ochre and powder) paints. At the center shows five raven feathers, a trait found exclusively on Cheyenne pieces. On the back side shows a single raven feather, old strip of blue and yellow trade clothe and single bear claw tied on. The front shows several small piercings which likely held other feathers drops as well. The front shows several five-point stars in red with a circular pattern framing the outside and culminating at the center. This is truly a fine collectible example with important historic significance due to its provenance attributing the piece to the Dog Soldiers of the Cheyenne. The shield measures 19 inches across. Ex-collection of Jim Aplan, Cyrus Eaton, Yankton College Museum.