Gambling Cowboy Grifters
Do my eyes deceive me? Does this tintype photograph really exist? It could have been conjured up from the powerful mind of a Western image collector, dreaming of the best possible of all cowboy images he might find. It has all the basic elements – whiskey bottle for drinking, pistols for killing, cards for gambling. They sit outside an unknown photographer’s studio, in an unknown location (some Western State or Territory), in an unknown year (circa 1875). These boys probably worked as a team; two working in a game, the third nearby in case trouble arose. The boys in front showing their hands each carries a pistol, one looking like a derringer. Their whiskey bottle and glass, along with the extra deck of cards, sit atop a wooden crate turned on its side. This is a low budget setup here. The signage on the studio wall is fantastic, with Disler or Bisler being the unusual and most likely name of the photographer. Neither name shows up on any list from any state. Yet.
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