Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
Heritage is in the process of relocating its world headquarters to a new Dallas area location, which will be announced soon. Please call 214-528-3500 to confirm all Heritage appointments, events or deliveries in Dallas, as our departments and staff are moving at different times from separate locations.


    With 120 Fine Hand-Colored Lithographed Plates of American Indians

    Thomas L. McKenney, and James Hall. History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs. Embellished with one hundred and twenty portraits, from the Indian Gallery in the Department of War, at Washington. Philadelphia: Published by D. Rice & A.N. Hart, 1855. Third octavo edition. Three large octavo volumes. Approximately 10.25 x 6.75 inches. iv, [3]-333, [1, blank]; xvii, [1, blank], [9]-290; iv, [17]-392 pages. Preface (pages 1-2) bound before contents leaf in Volume I (pages iii-iv). With 120 hand-colored lithographed plates ("Lith. Printed & Cold. by J.T Bowen") heightened in gum arabic. Tissue guards. Bound in publisher's original full brown morocco, covers paneled in dark brown, spines ruled and tooled in dark brown and lettered in gilt in compartments, five raised bands, dark brown board-edges and turn-ins, original yellow coated endleaves. All boards re-attached, some rubbing and mild wear to bindings, ownership inscriptions erased from front pastedowns, occasional foxing throughout, and some overopening. Volume I has the title-page re-attached, some amateur tape repairs to gutter of last page and rear hinge, also with a small neat repair to the verso of the "Payta-Kootha" plate opposite page 249. Volume III has the contents page re-attached, there is a very small tear to the upper margin of page 45/46, and the "Po-Ca-Hon-Tas" plate (opposite page 53) has a three-inch jagged tear at the upper margin near the gutter, not affecting the image. Overall, a good copy of this beautiful work.

    More Information:

    Originally published in twenty folio parts (three folio volumes) between 1836 and 1844, with 120 hand-colored lithographed plates. The first octavo edition appeared in 1848-1850, with the plates reduced. Several octavo editions were published between 1850 and the 1870's, with varying numbers of plates, some maintaining the original 120, and some abridged to contain as few as forty or fifty plates. All are highly desired today. "As early as 1824, the practice was begun of taking portraits of the principal Indians who came to Washington, and depositing them in the War Department. They were chiefly painted by Mr. King, an artist of high repute, who has been remarkably successful in transferring to his canvas the strong lineaments of the Indian countenance. Col. M'Kinney [sic], who was for many years superintendent of Indian affairs at Washington, and was thus brought in constant association with the principal men of the nations and tribes which sent representatives to the seat of government, conceived the plan of making this rare and curious collection more valuable to the world by publishing a series of engraved portraits exactly copies and colored from these paintings. With each portrait is connected a biographical sketch of the individual whom it is intended to represent, interspersed with anecdotes and narrations. The work contains also a historical account of the various Indian tribes within the borders of the United States" (Sabin 43410a, describing the 1836-1844 edition). "The original oil paintings of which the plates were copies were all destroyed in the 1865 Smithsonian fire" (Howes). Howes M-129 ("the most colorful portraits of Indians ever executed"). Sabin 43411 (describing the 1850 octavo edition).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 918

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 December 6 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The resulting auction of my property overwhelmed me. I want to thank Tom Slater and the Heritage team for a very satisfactory experience and profitable result with my historical consignment.
    Henry L.,
    Lexington, KY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search