ALFRED JACOB MILLER (1810-1874)
ALFRED JACOB MILLER (1810-1874)
ALFRED JACOB MILLER (1810-1874)
ALFRED JACOB MILLER (1810-1874)
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ALFRED JACOB MILLER (1810-1874)

Running a Bank of Elk, Near the Cut Rocks of the Platte

Details
ALFRED JACOB MILLER (1810-1874)
Running a Bank of Elk, Near the Cut Rocks of the Platte
inscribed '30.' (upper left)—inscribed with title (upper center)
ink, wash and pencil on paper
6 3⁄4 x 10 1⁄2 in. (17.2 x 26.7 cm.)
Executed circa 1837.
Provenance
The artist.
Sir William Drummond Stewart, Scotland, acquired from the above, circa 1839.
Frank Nichols, by descent from the above.
Sale: Chapman’s, Edinburgh, Scotland, 16-17 June 1871, sold by the above.
Bonamy Mansell Power.
Edward Power, bequest from the above, 1900.
Major G.H. Power, Great Yarmouth, England, by descent.
Sotheby’s, New York, 6 May 1966, lot 67, sold by the above.
William B. Ruger, Arizona, acquired from the above.
Estate of the above.
Christie's, New York, 5 December 2002, lot 155, sold by the above.
Acquired by the late owner from the above.
Literature
"Sale of Pictures from Murthly Castle", Scotsman, June 17, 1871, p. 2.
"Sale of Antique Furniture and Tapestry from Murthly Castle", Scotsman, June 17, 1871, p. 2.
Murthly Castle Estate Sale Notices (Mr. Chapman's sale advertisement), Scotsman, June 19, 1871, p. 8.
S. Knox, “83 Drawings from 1837 Trek to Rockies are Auctioned Here,” The New York Times, May 7, 1966, p. 28.
R.H. Randall, Jr., “Transformations and Imaginary Views by Alfred Jacob Miller,” Baltimore Museum of Art Annual III, Part One, Baltimore, Maryland, 1968, pp. 44-45.
R. Tyler, Alfred Jacob Miller: Artist on the Oregon Trail, Fort Worth, Texas, 1982, p. 321, no. 373.
Exhibited
Denver, Colorado, Denver Art Museum, April 15-24, 1966.

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Lot Essay

The present work depicts Sir William Drummond Stewart and his hunter Antoine Clement pursing a herd of elk near the Green River Valley in Wyoming. Cut Rocks was an important landmark along the Oregon Trail for emigrants making their way towards South Pass, and was the backdrop of the 1837 Green River Rendezvous of fur trappers and traders that Stewart and Miller attended.

The elk is one of the largest species within the deer family and is native to Asia and North America. North American elk can be divided into six subspecies based on their habitat; the present work possibly depicts Manitoban of the northern Great Plains. The artist wrote, "...there is not much use in running the Elk without strategum is used, either in heading them off, forcing them into a river, or waiting at some point hidden, and shooting them as they pass. Their speed outstrips that of the horse." (M. Ross, The West of Alfred Jacob Miller, Norman, Oklahoma, 1951, p. 140)

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