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George Catlin (1796 - 1872)

Lot 41600: Catlin, On Card - North American Indians

Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books

May 14, 2022
Franklin, TN, US

More About this Item


Description

George Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio features stunning lithographs which capture Native American history. Field describes the lithographs as “beautiful scenes in Indian life [that] are probably the most truthful ever presented to the public.” The full title reads North American Indian Portfolio. Hunting Scenes and Amusements of the Rocky Mountains and Prairies of America. From drawings and notes of the author, made during eight years travel amongst forty-eight of the wildest and most remote tribes of savages in North America.

The lithograph was published in London beginning in 1844 for George Catlin by Day & Haghe. The lithographs are considered to be from the best edition which are mounted on card and feature original hand-coloring to imitate watercolors. This set is the rarest, most expensive, and desirable edition. The lithographs were printed by Day & Haghe from a selection of the greatest images from Catlin’s travels.

George Catlin’s Portfolio marks a noteworthy moment in American history. Catlin traveled extensively chronicling the lives and culture of Indians across America. He created nearly 500 paintings of which some were used to make prints for this momentous work. Catlin described his need to do this work in that “the history and customs of such a people, preserved by pictorial illustrations, are themes worthy of 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.” Original images of Native Americans are uncommon from the 19th century, and Catlin’s are among the most detailed and impressive.

Catlin summarized the Native American as "an honest, hospitable, faithful, brave, warlike, cruel, revengeful, relentless, -- yet honourable, contemplative and religious being." In a famous passage from the preface of his North American Indian Portfolio, Catlin describes how the sight of several tribal chiefs in Philadelphia led to his resolution to record their way of life: "the history and customs of such a people, preserved by pictorial illustrations, are themes worthy of 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." He saw no future for either their way of life or their very existence, and with these thoughts always at the back of his mind he worked, against time, setting himself a truly punishing schedule, to record what he saw. From 1832 to 1837 he spent the summer months sketching the tribes and then finished his pictures in oils during the winter. The record he left is unique, both in its breadth and also in the sympathetic understanding that his images constantly demonstrate.

Dimensions

~ 18 3/8" by 24"

Artist or Maker

George Catlin

Medium

Originally Hand-colored Folio Lithograph; On Woven Paper cut to image edge and Mounted on Card as issued with ink-ruled frame

Date

1844

Condition Report

The work is in good to excellent condition overall. There may be some closed tears, foxing, wear, or chipping in the margins / to the card. The lithograph itself is in excellent condition. There may me be a few faint marks, fox marks, or minor imperfections to be expected with age and mostly marginal with the work. Please review the image and contact us with any questions.

Literature

North American Indian Portfolio

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Shipping Terms

Shipping is handled within 1 business days of completed payment. If you have specific shipping requests or address changes, please contact us before completing payment so we are aware and can adjust the invoice if necessary. Shipping is billed directly after the sale. We typically ship via USPS and FedEx domestic and with USPS and DHL international. We calculate based on the total package weight and destination. All shipments are insured, though to provide this some services may be required when shipping outside of the United States. We're glad to provide quotes and options of services.

The buyer is responsible for paying the customs fees, duties, import taxes, and any related charges. Customs can cause delays in arrival of your shipment, which the seller has no control over. Please consider these charges and delays when making your purchase. If you need specific wording for customs, please also contact before payment as each country has different rules and we will try to accommodate when possible.

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