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19TH CENTURY BUFFALO HIDE CARRIAGE OR SLEIGH LAP ROBE – VERY NICE SPECIMEN WITH BEAUTIFUL FUR:  This Buffalo Fur Lap Robe is a very nice example of the 19TH Century Furrier’s craft.  Fashioned from the select pieces of various buffalo hides, using only the long soft hair which was found on the crest of the buffalos’ hump, the furrier chose pieces of various hides which matched in density, length and color of the hair.    

Measuring approximately 6 feet long and 4 feet wide, the lap robe is in very good condition with no rips, tears, open seams or loss of hair.  The seams which assembled the pieces of buffalo hide are very substantial and are still very strong.  The fur still retains its loft and flexibility and is not brittle or hard.  The majority of the fur is a very attractive deep chocolate brown with some of the naturally occurring highlights found in buffalo fur.  I cannot determine whether or not this robe was originally backed with some sort of material or not.  If it was, it was likely a wool blanket that wore out through the years and was removed at some point.  

This was a very high quality lap robe when it was first made when buffalo hides were still a readily available commodity, and it has survived in remarkable condition.  In fact, if I lived in a northern climate and had a wagon or sleigh, I would have the robe backed with a wool blanket material and I would feel very comfortable putting the robe to reasonable use.  This is a great piece to add to your Western Frontier collection or display.  (0444)  $550

NOTE:  Photographing dark brown fur is to say the least, a challenge and can elevate to a real frustration in short order.  The following photos are the result of many attempts and they are the best of the lot.  Please do not ask for "better photos" because there aren't any - this is it.  One of the liabilities of digital photography is that dark material or dark fur absorbs the natural light rather than reflecting it back into the camera, and any attempt to use artificial light results in some very interesting, but equally inaccurate, color combinations.  These photographs are honest representations of the fur and the robe and I am quite sure you will not be disappointed when you see it in person. 



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