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Very Rare and original, 1880's Cabinet Card Photograph of the great Annie Oakley - Shooting Champion and renowned Trick Shot Artist with Buffalo Bill's Wild West - by Brisbois of Chicago.
This outstanding Photograph, taken during the period of the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Shows, measures approx. 4" by 5 3/8" and is mounted on its original card mount (overall size approx. 4 1/4" x 6 1/4"). The photograph is a bust portrait of the very young and attractive Annie Oakley wearing a wide brimmed cowboy hat positioned back on her head and with a silver star attached to the brim. There are a large number of shooting medals attached to the breast of her blouse (these medals were apparently destroyed sometime before her death) - many less than seen in later portraits of "Little Sure Shot". Printed on the card mount below the image is a facsimile signature that reads simply "Annie Oakley". The mount is also printed with the photographer's credits of Brisbois of Chicago. Although the Photo is undated, we have seen other examples of this image in the past with manuscript dates in the 1880's.
This rare and very attractive, 19th century Western Americana / Wild West Show / Annie Oakley Cabinet Card Photograph is in very good condition. The Photograph itself exhibits sharp focus, strong contrast and rich tonality. although the image is a bit light. There is a strong crease to the Cabinet Card at the upper left hand corner that affects the brim of Annie’s hat and some light edge wear to the card mount.The crease has an old tape reinforcement at the rear - we will ship the Photo in the very attractive wood frame that it came to us in in order to avoid any possibility of it incurring further damage at the crease.
A rare and highly sought after, original 1880's Annie Oakley / Buffalo Bill's Wild West Cabinet Card Photograph and a fantastic addition to any collection!!
Annie Oakley (August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926), born Phoebe Ann Mosey, was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. Oakley's amazing talent and timely rise to fame led to a starring role in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, which propelled her to become the first American female superstar. Using a .22 caliber rifle at 90 feet Oakley could repeatedly split a playing card edge-on and put five or six more holes in it before it touched the ground.
Annie became familiar with firearms at an early age. She began hunting at the age of six to support her siblings and her widowed mother. She sold the hunting game for money to locals in Greenville, ohio (where her family lived) as well as restaurants and hotels in southern Ohio. Her skill eventually paid off the mortgage on her mother's farm when Annie was 15. She soon became well known throughout the region. During the spring of 1881, the Baughman and Butler shooting act was being performed in Cincinnati.
Traveling show marksman and former dog trainer Francis E. Butler, placed a $100 (roughly equivalent to $2,000 today) with Cincinnati hotel owner Jack Frost, that Butler could beat any local fancy shooter. The hotelier arranged a shooting match between Butler and Annie Oakley (then age 21) to be held in ten days in a small town near Greenville, Ohio. After missing his 25th shot, Butler lost the match and the bet. He began courting Oakley, and they married on June 20, 1882.
Annie Oakley and Frank E.Butler lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, for a time, and she is believed to have taken her stage name from the city's neighborhood of Oakley, where they resided. They joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West in 1885. At only 5 feet tall, Oakley was given the nickname of "Watanya Cicilla" by fellow performer Sitting Bull, translated "Little Sure Shot" in the public advertisements. During her first Buffalo Bill's show engagement, Oakley experienced a tense professional rivalry with rifle sharpshooter Lillian Smith. Being eleven years younger, Smith promoted herself as younger and therefore more billable than Oakley. Oakley temporarily left the Buffalo Bill's show but returned after Smith departed. In Europe, she performed for Queen Victoria of Great Britain, King Umberto I of Italy, Marie François Sadi Carnot President of France and other crowned heads of state. Oakley had such good aim that, at his request, she knocked the ashes off a cigarette held by the newly crowned German Kaiser Wilhelm II. After the outbreak of World War I, Oakley sent a letter to the Kaiser, requesting a second shot. The Kaiser did not respond.
Oakley promoted the service of women in combat operations for the United States armed forces. She wrote a letter to President William McKinley on April 5, 1898 "offering the government the services of a company of 50 'lady sharpshooters' who would provide their own arms and ammunition should the U.S. go to war with Spain". The Spanish-American War did occur, but Oakley's offer was not accepted. Theodore Roosevelt, did, however, name his volunteer cavalry the "Rough Riders" after the "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World" where Oakley was a major star. The same year that McKinley was fatally shot by an assassin, 1901, Oakley was also badly injured in a train wreck, but she fully recovered after temporary paralysis and five spinal operations.
She left the Buffalo Bill show and in 1902 began a quieter acting career in a stage play written especially for her, The Western Girl. Oakley played the role of Nancy Berry and used a pistol, rifle and rope to outsmart a group of outlaws. Following her injury and change of career, it only added to her legend that her shooting expertise continued to increase into her 60s.
Throughout her career, it is believed that Oakley taught upwards of 15,000 women how to use a gun. Oakley believed strongly that it was crucial for women to learn how to use a gun, as not only a form of physical and mental exercise, but also to defend themselves. Oakley continued to set records into her 60s, and she also engaged in extensive, albeit quiet, philanthropy for women's rights and other causes, including the support of specific young women that she knew. She embarked on a comeback and intended to star in a feature-length silent movie. In a 1922 shooting contest in Pinehurst, North Carolina, sixty-two-year-old Oakley hit 100 clay targets in a row from 16 yards.
In late 1922, Oakley and Butler suffered a debilitating automobile accident that forced her to wear a steel brace on her right leg. Yet after a year and a half of recovery, she again performed and set records in 1924. Her health declined in 1925 and she died of pernicious anemia in Greenville, Ohio at the age of sixty-six in 1926
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The amount quoted for Shipping & Handling is calculated by and is equal to the EXACT amount charged by the Post Office plus a $1.00 "packing fee" - the $1.00 fee is our only compensation for the virgin packing materials we use on all of our professionally packaged boxes as well as our cost for the salaried help that does most of our packing - as I am sure you can see, we make NO profit on the Shipping charges and, in fact, our costs are usually greater than the $1.00 fee. Please contact us if there are any issues regarding the cost of shipping.
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