First Edition of the Finest Work on North American IndiansMaximilian Prinz zu Wied. Reise in das innere Nord-America in den Jahren 1832 bis 1834 von Maximilian Prinz zu Wied, Mit 48 Kupfern, 33 Vignetten, vielen Holzschnitten un einer Charte. Coblenz: Bei J. Hœlscher, 1839 and 1841.
First edition. Two large quarto volumes (approximately 11.5 x 9.625 inches). xvi, 653 ; xxii, 687 [2 folding charts] pages. Wood-engravings in text, charts; errata at end of both volumes. Text in German. The two text volumes only, lacking the atlas volume with the Bodmer plates.
Purple cloth over black textured paper. Gilt lettering and rules to spine. All edges marbled. Purple cloth now mostly faded to brown; gilt dulled. Binding rubbed and scratched, with wear along all edges. Hinges cracked, binding a little loose. Despite very occasional foxing and toning, contents quite bright. A very good or better copy.
Prince Maximilian traveled to the Great Plains region of America in 1832, accompanied by Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, journeying up the Missouri with officials of the American Fur Company on the steamship Yellowstone. They visited Forts Union, Mackenzie, and Clark, where they collected specimens of flora and fauna and studied the cultures of Indian tribes such as the Mandan, the Crow, the Cree, the Sioux, and the Blackfoot. They returned to St. Louis in 1834 and headed back to Europe where they spent the next few years preparing their monumental work. The first truly accurate depiction of the Plains Indians, and perhaps the greatest primary source of the North American Indian ever produced.
Abbey, Travel 615. Howes M443a. Sabin 47014. Wagner-Camp-Becker 76:1.
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