I/4 Plate Tintype
Unknown Photographer
United States
c. 1870s

Traditionally the buffalo robe or coat is inextricably tied to the wild and sometimes literally quite woolly west. Taking this into consideration this 1/4 plate tintype could in actuality have
been taken in any part of the United States (or Canada) that was subject to freezing winters. Buffalo robes could vary in quality from nothing more than a section of hide with a hole in
the middle to be worn poncho style to finely tailored examples like that picture here.

This man's coat looks to be of the highest quality and appears to incorporate at least three types of fur. The main body of the coat is thick and quite curly buffalo. The cuffs and pocket
flap may be fur seal with the shawl collar another unidentified variety of fur. Covering all bases, his cap is made from a fourth type of pelt. Coats of this quality could been seen being
worn by those who could afford them from Maine to the Sierra Nevada, from New York City to Deadwood, Dakota Territory.

Coats such as this were also a symbolic byproduct of the slaughter to near extinction of the vast buffalo herds that had once covered the Great Plains almost from horizon to horizon.