Description

    Geo[rge] Catlin. Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians. London: Published by the Author, 1841. First edition. Two octavo volumes. [i]-viii, [1]-264 pages; [i]-viii, [1]-266 pages. 309 engravings on 177 plates from the original paintings by Catlin, three maps (one folding). Lacking errata slip. Contemporary green cloth. Boards moderately rubbed and soiled, spines somewhat sunned, corners and edges bumped and worn. Text block very lightly cockled, bookplates on front pastedowns, rubber stamps on frontis verso in Volume I and title-page of Volume II, sporadic soiling on pages and plates, some foxing, plates facing page 132 and page 196 loose. In general, a very good set of the study of North American Indian by anthropologist and artist, George Catlin. Howes C 25; Sabin 11536.

    More Information: "A young lawyer turned portraitist, George Catlin [1796-1872] traveled west from his home in Pennsylvania in 1830 to fulfill his dream of recording on canvas the North American Indians and their way of life. It was his desire, he said, to paint 'faithful portraits of their principal personages, both men and women, from each tribe, views of their villages, games, etc., and [to keep] full notes on their character and history. I designed, also, to procure their costumes, and a complete collection of their manufactures and weapons, and to perpetuate them in a New York Commercial Advertiser, July 24, 1832-September 30, 1787. Catlin illustrated his book with line-cut reductions of his original paintings, and in the text described his adventurous years among the Indians. He recorded his observations of ceremonies, dances, hunting methods, forms of warfare, and the ways of daily living among the major tribes of the high plains and the Rocky Mountains" (Wagner-Camp, pp. 198-199).

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