North American Auction Company
Live Auction

Legends of the West: Western & Native American Sale

Sat, Sep 23, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 246

Southern Cheyenne "Chief Killer" Shield ex-Museum

Estimate: $9,500 - $13,500

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 a fantastic polychrome painted war shield from the Southern Cheyenne Native American Indians of Western Oklahoma. The shield is attributed to a Southern Cheyenne Chief named “Chief Killer” and was on display at the Dakota Frontier Museum in Mitchell, South Dakota for over 60 years. It was purchased by collector and scholar, Ted Levy in a museum de-accession sale in the early 1990’s. The Dakota Frontier Museum noted the piece as being owned and used by “Chief Killer” but the documentation to this regard has since been lost. The collector noted the shield as being from the late-19th Century, please examine the pictures for exact age and origin. A few images of Chief Killer, the Cheyenne are in the digit photo library. As noted by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, Concho, Oklahoma, Commissioner of the Indian Affairs, L.S. Bonnin… “Dear Sir: Chief Killer, a Cheyenne allottee of the Cantonment jurisdiction, died at the Cheyenne and Arapaho Hospital, on July 24, 1922.” The shield is in true Southern Cheyenne art pattern and composition, being made of wetted and stretched Buffalo Bison hide over a bent wood twig frame. A hide shoulder strap is attached, which shows a green pigment paint as well. The front of the shield has typical Southern Cheyenne designs and colors of red, green, yellow and blue in circular designs with a large four-point morning star at the center, all done in natural mineral pigment dyes. The shield appears to have been touched up, presumably by the Indian family over the years. The back shows some brass covered metal tacks, some hide glue and ties of Indian tanned parfleche ties. There are several double pierced holes which would have held drops of feathers, which are long missing. The shield was noted by the previous collector as being from the Indian Wars period of circa 1870-1880’s, but could be from up to his death, around circa 1922. Please examine the piece for your own representation of age and origin. The piece displays beautifully. Provenance: From the ex-Dakota Frontier Museum, Ted levy collections. Shoulder strap replaced and shield likely restored. Measures 21.5 inches in diameter.