Chief Joseph War Shirt Brings $877,500 at Auction

  • The war shirt worn by Chief Joseph sold for $877,500 at Couer d'Alene Art Auction in Reno.

    The war shirt worn by Chief Joseph sold for $877,500 at Couer d'Alene Art Auction in Reno.

  • An 1877 image by John Fouch of Chief Joseph in the auctioned war shirt.

    An 1877 image by John Fouch of Chief Joseph in the auctioned war shirt.

    Couer d'Alene Art Auction

A Chief Joseph war shirt fetched $877,500 at the 317-lot Coeur d'Alene Art Auction in Reno.

Considered to be one of the most important American Indian artifacts ever to come on the market, the piece fell on the low end of its $800,000 to $1.2 million estimate.

Legendary Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe wore the shirt in a photograph and for a portrait by Cyrenius Hall in 1878. The painting, used for a U.S. postage stamp, hangs in the Smithsonian.

The July 21 sale of Western and American art brought a preliminary total of $17.3 million.

Top-sellers included the painting "Scout's Report," by Howard Terpning, hammered down for $994,500, and a price of $965,250 for "Cowboys Roping the Bear" by Frank Tenney Johnson.

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