Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Hand-Colored Portraits from the Indian Gallery of the U.S. War Department

    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: D. Rice and A. N. Hart, 1854, 1855.

    Three octavo volumes. iv, 333; xvii, 290; iv, 292 pages. 120 hand-colored plates, inclusive of frontispieces, with tissue guards.

    Contemporary full red morocco over boards. Gilt fillets and designs to boards. Raised bands. Gilt lettering and decorations to spines. All edges gilt. Slight bumping and rubbing to the bindings. Some black discoloration to the top edges of boards and the foot of the spines. Missing title page from Volume III, though frontispiece and all plates are complete. Inked name of previous owner on front pastedowns. Overall an attractive and sturdy set in very good condition.

    "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 copied and colored from these paintings" (Sabin). The folio edition of History of the Indian Tribes of North America, proved successful enough to issue this royal octavo edition to appeal to a broader readership. The octavo edition was "[r]evised and enlarged by McKenney, who probably wrote the unsigned historical sketch of the Indian race in Volume III; Hall contributed the 'Essay on the History of the North American Indians,' which follows" (Blair, et al.). Also added to the octavo edition is the plate of Red Bird (frontispiece to Volume II).

    Blair, The Indian Tribes of the Upper Mississippi Valley and Region of the Great Lakes, 332. Howes M 129. Sabin, 43410a, 43411.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,426

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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

    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
    Only 22 days left to consign to the 2018 September 23 - 24 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Beverly Hills!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $640,615