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BUFFALO LEG BONE CANDLE HOLDER – FRONTIER RELIC FOUND IN THE AREA OF FT. LARNED, KANSAS:   The plains of Kansas were the scene of the earliest commercial buffalo hunts that began in earnest during the post Civil War years.   Obtained over thirty years ago from a farm sale in the area of Ft. Larned, Kansas, this Candle Holder, fashioned from the joint end of a buffalo leg bone, is a wonderful relic from that period of frontier history.   

When the Kansas herds were wiped out and the surviving buffalo were pushed west by the continuing hunting pressure, all that remained of the vast herds were the skeletons.  The accounts of those who followed the hunters document the enormous quantity of buffalo bones that littered the prairie – in sufficient numbers that it became profitable to gather the bones and freight them to the rail heads to be sold as the base material in the manufacture of fertilizer. Arriving on the heels of the hide hunters, the settlers that established the farms and ranches continued to find the grim evidence of the once great herds on their property for many years. 

The obvious age of this piece, evidenced by the worn edges, wonderful patina and apparent aging of the bone, indicates it is certainly from this early frontier period.  The shear mass of the bone is much larger than the skeletal structure of domestic cattle, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is a buffalo bone.  Measuring 4 ¾” high, 2” wide at the top and 3 ¼” x 3 ¾” wide at the bottom, this candle holder still stands stable on a table surface.  The marrow cavity in the center of the bone was cleaned out to a diameter of 1 – 1 ¼” and still retains the old wax and wick of the original candle.   NOTE:  A .45-70 cartridge is shown next to the bone in the photograph below to provide a size comparison and is not included in this offering. 

That such rare primitive pieces such as this exist at all today is truly amazing, and it is very likely it survived in the family’s farm house as a keepsake from those years when their forebears first claimed their homestead, and this candle provided a comforting light in a humble sod cabin.   SOLD


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