Yeehaa ! Buffalo Bill is back !

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Programme

Historical Sketches & Programme, copyrighted Cody & Salsbury, New York, 1896. Chromolithographed paper wraps, 64 numbered pages.



Wild west shows were traveling vaudeville performances in the United States and Europe. These shows introduced a romanticized version of the American Old West to a wide audience.

BuffaloB1Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show was formed in 1883 and lasted until about 1913. Pawnee Bill’s Wild West show was assembled by G.W. Lillie (Pawnee Bill) in 1888. In 1889 it was reorganized as Pawnee Bill’s Historical Wild West, Indian Museum and Encampment. The show travelled throughout the United States and Europe and in 1906 reorganized as Pawnee Bill’s Great Far East show. In 1908 Lillie bought interest in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and in 1909 combined to become Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Pawnee Bill’s Great Far East.

It went bankrupt in 1913. The Miller Brothers and Arlington 101 Ranch Wild West show had a variety of names, ran from 1908 to about 1930.


Includes programs, playbills, a few newspapers, and clippings for American wild west shows. Includes one program in German. Companies include: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Miller Bros. & Arlington 101 Ranch Real Wild West (Organization), Pawnee Bill’s Historic Wild West Show, and others.

Programme (verso)


William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was an American soldier, bison hunter and showman. He was born in the Iowa Territory (now the U.S. state of Iowa), in Le Claire but lived several years in Canada before his family moved to the Kansas Territory. Buffalo Bill received the Medal of Honor in 1872 for service to the US Army as a scout. One of the most colorful figures of the American Old West, Buffalo Bill became famous for the shows he organized with cowboy themes, which he toured in Great Britain and Europe as well as the United States.

Dr. Livingstone, I presume ?



STANLEY, Henry M. The American Testimonial Banquet to Henry M. Stanley, In recognition of his Heroic Achievements in the cause of Humanity, Science & Civilization. London: no publisher, May 30, 1890. Octavo, original elaborately tooled full polished brown calf, patterned endpapers, all edges gilt.

First edition of this scarce volume issued to those invited to the exclusive 1890 American Testimonial Banquet honoring explorer Henry Stanley, with five vintage prints of Stanley and his chief officers, each mounted on blue paper and tipped to heavy gilt-edged card stock.

IMG_0091Perhaps no European is more closely connected with Africa than Lord Stanley. His final journey to Africa as head of the 1887 Emin Pasha Relief Expedition was particularly exceptional in its terrible human cost, resulting in the death of “over 500 people directly connected with the expedition” (New York Times). Stanley and his officers “Jephson, Parke, Stairs” and Nelson covered hundreds of miles and “marched in “grim conditions” with a “steady trickle of thefts and desertions, interspersed with attacks by tribesmen… Every day several men died of starvation” (Jeal, 342). Yet Stanley still managed to compile important data on the Pygmies and discovered the Ruwenzori, or “Mountains of the Moon.” The perilous journey nearly cost Stanley his life and ended sadly when Emin Pasha expressed anger at Stanley’s interference, ultimately refusing to leave Africa. This handsome programme, issued to those invited to an exclusive May 30, 1890 American Testimonial Banquet held in London some time after Stanley’s return, points to his signal importance as explorer, adventurer and a hero of the Victorian era. With copies likely limited to the 400 or so people at the affair, this lavish volume contains five vintage prints—of Stanley and his chief officers Stairs, Parke, Nelson and Jephson—all in attendance. Each print, measuring 3-1/2 by 5-1/2 inches, is mounted on pale blue cards displaying captions, signature facsimiles and tipped to heavy gilt-edged card stock. The elaborately tooled and embossed programme also contains a list of committee members and honorary stewards, including James Whistler, P.T. Barnum and Bret Harte, as well as a tipped-in plate of “Shield and Medallions” and accompanying description, along with the evening’s menu, music programme and “Toast List.


   IMG_0093 IMG_0094