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    Edward S. Curtis. The North American Indian. Being a series of volumes picturing and describing the Indians of the United States, the Dominion of Canada, and Alaska. Volume IX, "Salishan Tribes of the Coast. Chimakum / Quilliute / Willapa." [Printed in Norwood, MA: Plimpton Press, 1913]. Standard edition, this being number 101 of 500 proposed sets, printed on Japanese Vellum; lacking accompanying portfolio. Text volume IX (of twenty). Folio (approximately 12.5 x 10 inches; 318 x 255 mm). 227 pages. Illustrated with seventy-five captioned photogravures (one colored) with tissue guards, including frontispiece, by John Andrew & Son of Boston after the author's photographs. Bound for the publishers by H. Blackwell; half brown morocco stamped in gilt over brown cloth, spine with three raised bands and lettered in gilt. Corners rubbed, moderate edgewear, somewhat rubbed and worn. Brown endpapers, binder's stamp to front free endpaper verso. Internally clean and tight; top edge trimmed and gilt, other edges untrimmed, light foxing and soiling, minor text block edgewear, brown ribbon bookmark detached and somewhat frayed and laid in at page 25. Very good.

    One of the most expensive publication undertakings in history, the entire project was estimated to take eight years; by its conclusion, twenty-four years had passed, three times Curtis initially estimated. It also required an increasingly complicated series of investments, funded by J. Pierpont Morgan and family, that would number in the millions today. Though 500 sets were proposed, due to financial limitations, current scholarship estimates that that closer to 270 sets were actually completed. At the time of publication, a standard edition set sold for $3,000 ($77,500 today). Complete sets are extremely scarce and largely held in institutional collections.

    The Curtis Legacy Foundation; Grayhavens, Duty Bound to Finish, pages 15-20; Greyhavens, A Guide to the Books and Portfolios of The North American Indian; Howes C-965; Makepeace, Coming to Light, page 9.

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    June, 2021
    9th-10th Wednesday-Thursday
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