Token: US American Cowboy and Sitting Bull  1879
Token: US American Cowboy and Sitting Bull 1879

Well, Kimberly, you have created a little stir. Your token is found at a few places around the Internet, but none of these places have any significant information about it. Even the mighty Token Catalog, with over 420,000 individual listings, does not record this piece. So far, your item is a partial mystery. Here is more info:

1. From the lettering on the token, it probably does not date all the way back to 1879. Such lettering was used on tokens in the early half of the 1900s, so a more reasonable date would be from that time.

2. Your token is quite certainly from the famous Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, which toured the US and Europe during the last half of the 1800s and well into the 1900s. This is consistent with our date estimate above.

3. Indian Chief Sitting Bull toured for a time with Buffalo Bill, further cementing the origin of your piece. The unusual spelling of 'Cow-Boy' and the insistence of 'American' indicate that the token has European origins.

4. There appears to be tokens with and without eyelets for hanging them on strings or using as key rings. This, coupled with the crude appearance of the pattern, indicates that the token is probably a novelty item, sold as a souvenir from the Wild West Show.

5. Primary Internet pictures are of one particular specimen where the horse and rider on the cowboy side has been mutilated. Only a few (very fuzzy) pictures show the horse and rider intact.

6. A well-known and highly regarded numismatist, Oded Paz, has a picture of this piece on his Flickr page. It caught his attention as an unusual item.

7. Two auction results, both for $20 US dollars, one from eBay and one from etsy, gives an approximate value. However, establishing value from only two auction results is extremely inaccurate.

Based on the information above, as well as noting the scarcity of the item and the selling prices of similar Wild West memorabilia, CoinQuest estimates values with a great deal of uncertainty as follows:

worn: $10 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circualated: $30
well preserved: $60
fully uncirculated: $200

We would appreciate better pictures of this token, if you happen to have them!

Coin: 19667 , Genre: Tokens
Requested by: Kimberly sumter, Wed, 29-Jul-2015 22:51:57 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Thu, 30-Jul-2015 13:00:16 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Mon, 05-Feb-2018 01:49:49 GMT
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