Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868 - 1952)

Lot 22: CURTIS, EDWARD S. (1868-1952) "Oasis in the Badlands."

Swann Auction Galleries

October 4, 2012
New York, NY, US

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Description: CURTIS, EDWARD S. (1868-1952)
"Oasis in the Badlands." Platinum print, 17x21 inches (43.2x53.3 cm.), with Curtis's signature, in red pencil, on recto; in the original Curtis frame. 1905
Notes: An extremely rare, and possibly unique, oversized platinum print of one of Curtis's most iconic images. The photograph is displayed in the original, and highly desirable, Curtis Studio oak frame.

Of the 40,000 negatives Curtis produced for The North American Indian, approximately six images are definitively known to have been printed in platinum, in this special format. It is believed that platinum prints comprise less than 1% of Curtis's extant photographs, and that only one in a hundred were actually produced in this oversized format.

Curtis's stylized, red wax pencil signature is also extremely scarce. This wax pencil signature was used by Curtis for his "Master Exhibition Prints," which were created between 1905-1906, and suggests that this particular print may have been made the same year as the negative (1905).

Pictured is Red Hawk (Cheta'-luta), an important Sioux Chief, who fought General George Custer in the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. Red Hawk achieved renown as a fierce warrior who engaged in more than 20 battles.

This print has been continuously in private hands for the past century, and was the property of one family for ninety years before being sold directly to a private collector several years ago. It has never before been offered at public auction or in the marketplace.

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Shipping Information: Upon request, Swann will facilitate the shipping of purchases to out-of-town buyers at an additional charge for packing, shipping and insurance, but will not be responsible for any loss, damage or delay resulting from the packing, handling and shipping thereof. Unless specific instructions are received, Swann is the sole judge of the method to be used for shipment. Packing and shipping costs will be noted on the invoice mailed to successful bidders after the sale, and are based on the actual costs involved. Be advised that a full commercial invoice must accompany any purchase shipped outside the US.
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