Admiral Byrd’s Silver Buffalo

*Following text copied from seller of the item*


See the scans. This is an exceptionally rare example of an awarded 1920’s Boy Scouts of America Silver Buffalo medal to a famous American, Admiral Richard Byrd, Medal of Honor recipient, aviator, polar explorer and one of the most well-known men of his time. This is the earliest version of the medal, being one of the first thirty-five or so awarded and from the initial run of medals. The lot also includes Byrd’s own gold Phi Beta Kappa Key, which is engraved “R.E. Byrd Jr. Beta of Virginia 1926.” I obtained both of these medals, plus many other medals and diplomas presented to the Admiral, from the magnificent Sotheby’s 10 November 1988 medals auction, which included over $250,000 in Byrd material. The Silver Buffalo was part of Lot # 451, where it was described only as “Bison silver badge” and the gold key was part of Lot #455. I will include a copy of those lot descriptions with this item.


When I obtained the medal, I wrote the BSA National Office and received a reply in early 1989, including a copy of the Admiral’s Silver Buffalo Medal citation (see scan). Note that in 1929, President Coolidge received the 37th Silver Buffalo awarded, while Byrd got the 38th. First awarded in 1926, when 22 men were honored, #1 went to Lord Baden Powell. The Silver Buffalo is American scouting’s highest award and has now been given to about 650 prominent citizens, including 22 U.S. presidents.


The current strikes of this medal are of much lower quality than these early silver medals. Excellent condition, original ribbon shows some wear and fraying. A super display item for the Boy Scout medal collector. Awarded for being the “first to fly over the North Pole, first to fly a multi-motored plane between New York and France and (now) leading a great expedition to Antartica, this should also be of interest to polar, aviation or explorer collectors. Byrd had chosen Paul Seiple, an eagle scout, to accompany him to Antartic as his special aide and became immensely popular with the scouts, as Seiple attracted much attention for the movement. This is definitely a museum quality offering.




$4,749.99 for the silver buffalo!!

By mopar73mopar on October 18th, 2007 at 7:13 am

Leave a Reply



Search this website

DISCLAMER: It is not officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of the USA or the World Organization of Scout Movements.