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    One Hundred-twenty Beautifully
    Hand-colored Portraits

    Thomas L. McKenney and James Hall. History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs....In Three Volumes. Philadelphia: Published by D. Rice & A.N. Hart, 1854. Second octavo edition. Three octavo volumes, in fours. iv, 333; xvii, [1, blank], [9]-290; iv, [17]-392. Preface (pages 1-2) bound before contents leaf in the first volume (pages iii-iv). Three frontispiece portraits and one hundred-seventeen hand-colored lithographed portrait plates ("Lith.d, Col.d & Published by J.T. Bowen. Philade") heightened in gum arabic. Tissue guards. Bound in full red hard grain morocco, gilt rules and decorations on boards, five raised spine bands with gilt titles and decorations in compartments, gilt board edges and dentelles, all edges gilt, pale yellow endpapers.

    Bindings lightly rubbed, corner bumps, small tears to spine ends, volume one with repaired joints; volume two cracked front hinge, unobtrusive holograph pencil number "70" on each title page, small lightly textured ink dots on title pages of volumes one and two, tissue guards with occasional minor tears or loss, some pages darkened and browned in volume one, over-opened pages with sewing visible and occasional darkening along the gutter, faint image offset from plates, some plates with offset from text, varying degrees of foxing, smudges and occasional soiling. Nonetheless a very good copy of a beautiful production.
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    More Information:

    "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. 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, M-129).             

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,652

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