Signed biographies of Colonel William Frederick Cody - better known as Buffalo Bill - go up for auction this month at Hanson Ross saleroom in Royston.

The books, written by Buffalo Bill's sister Helen Cody Wetmore, are dedicated to Mrs Lilian White - a performer in his Wild West show - and her son, Master White Jnr.

Lilian and her sister Flory were an equestrian act in the late 1800s, known as the Humel sisters, and they performed with the famous Barnum and Bailey's circus.

The equestrian Humel sisters Lilian (left) with sister FloryThe equestrian Humel sisters Lilian (left) with sister Flory (Image: Hanson Ross)

The circus crossed paths with Buffalo Bill during its tour of the UK in 1898, and on hearing about the Humel sisters' act Bill asked them to join him.

Lilian's grandson Duncan White, who is selling the books, recalled: "She and Bill travelled the world together and she always said that he was very nice and a good friend.

"He gifted the first book to her in Cardiff in July 1903, and the second one, which is in French, is dedicated to my dad, dated September 29th 1905."

Dedication to Lilian White from William Cody, also known as Buffalo BillDedication to Lilian White from William Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill (Image: Hanson Ross)

Both books are inscribed "with the compliments of the subject" and are signed 'W. F. Cody "Buffalo Bill"'.

William Frederick Cody was an American soldier who earned his nickname hunting Buffalo to feed the Kansas Pacific Railroad workers following the American Civil War.

In 1883 he founded his circus-like Wild West show, which repeatedly toured the United States and did eight tours of Europe - the last of which was from 1902 to 1906.

Lilian toured the world and had three children during her time on the road.

When she and her husband eventually returned to the UK, they settled in Runnymeade in Surrey and ran a company supplying horse feed - until the advent of the motor car put them out of business.

Lilian died in 1964 at the age of 88.

The sisters in 1902The sisters in 1902 (Image: Hanson Ross)

Duncan said: "Living so close to the Thames was nearly the end of these books.

"Their bungalow suffered a terrible flood in the late 1940s and that’s when she gave them to me. 

"I was the only grandson and she wanted them to stay with the White family name.

"I'm not sorry to see them go. I’m 87. It’s time they went to someone who will appreciate them."

The lot, which carries an estimated value of £1,000 to £2,000, also includes 'The Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth 1897 to 1898' - which details every venue the circus visited during that year.

The Buffalo Bill lot up for auction at Hanson RossThe Buffalo Bill lot up for auction at Hanson Ross (Image: Hanson Ross)

Amanda Butler, director of operations at Hanson Ross, said: "This is a very exciting lot.

"It has great provenance, coming directly from the White family, and we hope it will generate interest both here and across the Atlantic."

The books will go under the hammer at Hanson Ross' Jewellery and Fine Art auction on Friday, July 12.

Hanson Ross has valuation and consignment days in Royston every Friday from 10am to 1pm, and in Hitchin at Stonegate Estates every third Tuesday of the month from 10am to 1pm.