|Taken during the winter sometime around 1900 this cowboy was probably taking advantage of a clear and possibly sunny day to get some work done and get his portrait taken in the
deal. With the ground covered snow he wears and is outfitted with all the gear of a real working cowboy. On the top of his head he wears a classic example of a Montana Peak hat.
Becoming popular in the very late 1800s hats of this style would become somewhat ubiquitous around the world being worn not just by cowboys but by Canadian and Imperial troops
serving in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War, by U.S. Army personnel as a campaign hat up until World War II and Anzac forces during World War One. These hats are still part
of day to day wear a dress uniforms of various polices forces in the U.S., the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and U.S. Military drill instructors.
He is in his shirt sleeves which implies somewhat warmer weather although he does wear a vest which helped keep him warm but also served him in much the same way as a utility belt
with its extra pockets holding everything from tobacco, pocket watches, folding knives, pistol/rifle cartridges, etc. He has a large bandanna around his neck and a large hunting knife
on his belt. On his saddle is a very large coiled rope - something no cowboy would be caught dead without - and on the opposite side can just be seen the butt stock of his rifle. The
crescent butt plate on the weapon indicates that he has selected a full length rifle (probably a lever action type such as a Winchester) to carry with him as opposed to a shorter carbine
which more commonly carried when mounted. Carbines tended to have flat butt plates on them.
Although the patient black dog in the background somewhat steels the show, the most interesting part of the photograph are the black angora woolly chaps that this cowpuncher has
outfitted himself with. Worn mostly by working cowboys in the northern states and territories such as Montana, the Dakotas, Colorado and Idaho where they help keep the wearers
warm on cold winters days in addition to the more usual leg protection.
6 7/8 Inches by 4 7/8 Inches
(17.5cm x 12.5cm)