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Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 318

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Description: D. F. BARRY'S "CHIEF GALL - PHOTO FROM LIFE"
Historically significant 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" oval (trimmed), sepia toned albumen, inscribed by photographer D. F. Barry: "To. Gen'l King Compliments of D. F. Barry". This is Barry's most recognizable image, signed and inscribed to Gen. Chas King, a veteran of the 1876 Great Sioux War. King also saw service in the Civil War, Crook's 1874 Tonto Apache Campaign, and the Spanish-American War. In the Great Sioux War, King was a first lieutenant in the Fifth Cavalry and served as regimental adjutant on Crook's Bighorn and Yellowstone Expedition. Through his service and prolific authorship (Campaigning With Crook, Custer's Last Battle, etc.), King's name became synonymous with the 1876 Great Sioux War and its protagonists. Of this photograph of Gall, King wrote: "The photograph of Chief Gall, with his head and body unadorned by savage finery of any kind with the buffalo robes thrown back, baring his magnificent Torso, is one of the most striking of all Indian pictures, and it is a speaking likeness too, looking just as if he had stepped forth to address his people". Barry used King's comments on his promotional materials for the photograph, adding, "Gall was the Master Mind and the leader of the Indians in the Custer fight". Barry seemed to believe what he proclaimed, but in reality it was hyperbole, though it was persuasive and undoubtedly beneficial to his sales. "Gall's face has been a money maker for me", admitted Barry in later years, acknowledging that promoting Gall and the stories of his great deeds had been Barry's financial enabler. Matted and framed to 15" x 18" with Barry's blind stamp to the left of the signature, and his copyright and title above that. Some soiling and toning, with a light scratch extending from cheek to upper margin, still entirely presentable. An important association of three key figures of the Indian Wars era.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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