|Title:||Buffalo Skull, Sitting Bull Camp, Little Big Horn|
|Description:||A large buffalo skull, a very religious symbol to the Indians. This skull was found buried among artifacts of the Battle Of The Little Big Horn of 25-26 June 1876. It measures 22.5 inches from tip to broken tip - estimated to have been 25 inches from tip to tip. This was found at the location of Sitting Bulls camp on that fateful date. Though there are several rifles, pistols and other accoutrements that can be dated to that battle, this is the only Buffalo Skull that I know of that can be.|
|Condition:||One third of its right horn is broken (the bone - the horns themselves are missing). It measures 22.5 inches from tip to broken tip and estimated to have been 25 inches from bone tip to bone tip. Portions of its face has been broken - it was found in several pieces - but has been glued together. Overall good condition.|
|Origin:||Jason Pitch, whose family owns and farms the land that this portion of the battle took place, has hunted and documented artifacts since the early 1990's. His documentation in fact led to the redesigning of the battle lines of Major Reno's initial attack on the Indian Village (one source - Little Big Horn Remembered, Herman J. Viola - 1999). Jason found a washout at one area where it appeared that remnants of the village had been buried and found this skull in pieces in conjunction with both Indian and U.S. Calvary artifacts from the battle.|
|Provenance:||The skull had been displayed for many years (approx. 2000 to 2010) with other artifacts from the battle at the Garry Owen Museum at Crow Agency, MT not more than a few yards from where it had been found. It was purchased by me from Putt Thompson, owner of the Custer Battlefield Trading Post, in 1997 for $2,500 (POB 246, Crow Agency, MT 59022 - phone 406-638-2270). I am in possession of a certificate of authenticity signed by Jason Pitch, a certificate stating that the skull was in fact found in conjunction with artifacts from the battle and a photograph of Jason at the site it was found.|
|Appraised By:||Addison Thompson|
|Appraiser Comments:||Ceremonial buffalo skulls are known to have originated in the region of the Plains tribes, including the Hunkpapa, a division of the Lakota Teton Sioux, of which Sitting Bull was a Chief. These skulls are generally painted with a form of mineral based paint made from ground natural pigments or drilled and incised in simple geometric decorative patterns. The value of such ceremonial skulls derives from this special decoration.|
The expert, Addison Thompson, is of the opinion that this item
IS PROBABLY NOT
Reason: This skull may have been found associated with the Sioux camp near Custer's Last Stand in 1879, but without any form of decorative painting or incising their is no evidence of any ceremonial use or special significance. In light of these facts, it has only decorative value.
Items can NEVER be authenticated over the internet but must be seen in-person by an expert in order to verify authenticity. This service is meant to provide an unbiased expert’s opinion based on the information available to them through the auction listing.
This online appraisal is an expert's opinion of the item(s) depicted above based solely on images and information supplied by our customer. Additional information, not shown on this certificate, may have been taken into account for this online Appraisal.
Please Note: Our service strives to include the best international authorities in their respective fields. While the appraiser may be an expert in rendering the valuation, please understand that they may not be completely fluent in English.
* Current Fair Market Value is the amount someone might receive when selling their item to a dealer or at auction. It is also the amount most government tax agencies (IRS, Revenue Canada, Inland Revenue, etc.) recognize as the tax deductible amount were the item donated to a charitable organization.
** Replacement Cost is the retail amount one might reasonably pay to purchase the item from a dealer, gallery, store, etc. It is also the amount for which one may want to insure an item.
For currency conversion go to http://www.xe.net/ucc/full.shtml