5 December 2006
CATLIN, George (1796-1872). North American Indian Portfolio: Hunting Scenes and Amusements of the Rocky Mountains and Prairies of America. London: C. and J. Adlard for Geo. Catlin, 1844.
2o (582 x 432 mm). 25 tinted lithographed plates by Catlin and McGahey after Catlin (plates detached, with occasional light staining, a few corners bumped). Later half morocco gilt (corners worn, covers stained, contents loose).
FIRST EDITION, uncolored issue. Catlin's Portfolio was issued with both uncolored tinted and hand-colored plates, but due to pervasive modern coloring, complete sets of the original tinted plates are increasingly rare. Although Catlin planned on producing a series of thematic portfolios reproducing images from his Indian Gallery, the publication overextended his resources. The publication of his North American Indian Portfolio was taken over by Henry Bohn. "These beautiful scenes in Indian life are probably the most truthful ever presented to the public" (Field). Catlin's eight years of field research and painting of forty-eight tribes produced this immensely rich record of Native Americans. "The history and customs of such a people, preserved by pictorial illustrations, are themes worthy the lifetime of one man, and nothing short of the loss of my life shall prevent me from visiting their country and becoming their historian" (Preface). Abbey Travel 653 (note); Field 258; Howes C243; Sabin 11532; Wagner-Camp-Becker 105a:1.
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