John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886

Cabinet card of a Buffalo Soldier wearing a buffalo coat. J.C.H. Grabill: Sturgis, Dakota Territory, n.d., ca 1886. In negative imprint: “J.C.H. Grabill, Photographer.” Imprints on recto and verso.

A full-length portrait of a soldier, probably in the 25th Infantry which was stationed at Fort Meade near Sturgis from 1880 to 1887. He holds his kepi hat in one hand and most notably wears an iconic buffalo coat, his uniform visible beneath. Photographed by John C.H. Grabill (1849-1903) who was well known for his photographs of American Indians and the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre. This photo should also enter his elite canon as it is the only known photograph of a Buffalo Soldier wearing a long buffalo coat. It is not included in the Library of Congress’s Grabill archive of 193 images and does not appear in any other institutional collection.


Minor spotting, some even toning to card, else very fine. 

Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

Internet Bidding

Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

Purchased items will be available for pickup in Chicago on February 20, 2020 ONLY.
All other in-person pickups must be made in Cincinnati. 

Let Cowan's Handle Your Shipping!

Cowan's Auctions is one of the only houses to offer full service, in-house shipping.  

Our experts pack and ship over 5,000 purchases each year.  
Shipping costs are included on every invoice to make getting your items as fast and easy as possible. 

For more information, click HERE or contact shipping@cowans.com.