Catlin's Monumental Work on the Ethnology of the North American IndianGeo[rge] Catlin. Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians. Written during eight years' travel (1832-1839) amongst the wildest tribes of Indians in North America. With several hundred illustrations from the author's original paintings. London: Published for the Author, 1841.
First edition, first issue (with uncorrected error "Frederick" for "Zedekiah" on page 104, line 26 of Volume I). Two octavo volumes. viii, 264; viii 266 pages. Three maps (one folding) and 309 line-cut reductions of his original paintings on 177 plates.
Nineteenth-century half calf over marbled boards, rebacked with the original spines laid down. Spine in compartments with five raised bands, decoratively tooled in gilt and lettered in gilt on red and green morocco lettering labels. Marbled endpapers and edges. Bindings lightly bumped and scraped, but still very handsome. Two bookplates to each front pastedown endpaper. Tipped into the front of Volume I is a page and a half of unattributed manuscript or notes for a review of the second edition of Catlin's book that appeared in the 1842 Edinburgh Review (Art. VI on page 415). Occasional minor foxing to some plates, sometimes heavier along the fore-edge margin. Text is bright and clean. A very good, attractive set.
Howes C241. McCracken, George Catlin and the Old Frontier. Streeter 1805. Wagner-Camp-Becker 84:1.
Beginning in 1830, Catlin spent eight years among the larger tribes of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains, and recorded in his drawings and paintings all aspects of Native American life, including hunting, ceremonial dances, and warfare. "No individual has contributed so much, of such great importance; no individual has had a greater influence upon the Western Americana art, literature and history of our country than George Catlin" (McCracken).
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