Charles M. Russell (1864-1926)
Flagging Antelope (1898)
watercolor on paper
10 × 13.25 inches
signed and dated lower left
Sold at Auction: $100,000
Condition ReportViewed through glass. Mat burns noticeable along bottom and left side of the painting. Colors appear to be slightly faded. Paper appears to be in good condition.
Important Notice: Statements of condition are provided as a service to potential bidders; such statements are educated opinions and should not be regarded as facts. The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction has no responsibility for any errors or omissions.
Flagging Antelope is recorded in the C. M. Russell Catalogue Raisonné as reference number CR.UNL.244.
Flagging has proved to be a successful technique for luring the elusive yet inquisitive pronghorn antelope. Basic tracking methods used to follow other game animals becomes challenging in the case of pronghorns. If their keen senses of sight and smell become alerted, a quick burst of speed will send them scurrying. In Flagging Antelope, Russell depicts two hunters with one’s cap fluttering in the breeze and apparently getting the best of the pronghorn’s curiosity. Perhaps Russell witnessed such a scene in the late 1880s when he spent time with the Blood Indians on the plains of Alberta, Canada. According to Harold McCracken, “The Bloods accepted Russell in their lodges and he quickly became a brother of the tribe. His worn-out cowboy clothing was supplemented with Indian buckskins, and he let his hair grow. Hospitality led to real friendship. His photographic mind acquired a catalog of details which a more ordinary man could not have been expected to remember. Sleeping Thunder (the principle chief of the tribe) gave Russell the Indian name Ah-Wah-Cous, or Antelope, a brotherly approbation which Charlie proudly cherished.”
Oklahoma Publishing Company, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Property from a Private Collection
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Field & Stream, vol. 6, no. 2 (April 1901), illustrated halftone
Henry Bierman, “From Butcher Boy to Buffalo Hunter, Excerpts from the Unpublished Journals of Henry Bierman,” Montana The Magazine of Western History, Volume Eleven, Number One (Helena, MT: Historical Society of Montana, Winter 1961), page 48, illustrated halftone