Books & Prints - Sale 9911031 - Lot 117Wednesday, November 3, 1999 at 10am
Maximilian Alexander Philipp zu Wied-Neuwied, Prince
[Reise in das Innere Nord-America in den Jahren 1832 bis 1834]
Eighty one hand-colored aquatint plates after Karl Bodmer, printed by Bougeard, many heightened with gum arabic, some dated variously from 1 January 1839 to 1 February 1841, titled in French, German and English, most with the blindstamp C Bodmer | Direct, engraved by J. Hürlimann, L. Weber, C. Vogel, Salathé, Himely, Prévost, R. Rollet, P. Legrand, Desmadryl and others; comprising 48 tableau plates and 33 vignette plates (24 x 18 inches; 610 x 458 mm. sheet size); engraved double-sheet map with scenic vignette, with route colored by hand. Atlas folio, half red morocco, the spine lettered in German, gilt. Covers and preliminaries detached but present, spine largely perished, lacks title page, some foxing, only very occasionally affecting the image, heavier marginal foxing on "Idols of the Mandan Indians" and "Saukie and Fox Indians," "The Steamer Yellowstone" with marginal dampstaining lower left, not affecting image, "Bison Dance of the Mandan Indians" with tear from lower center sheet edge extending approximately 1 inch into image, "Encampment of the Piekann Indians" with oxidation to color in sky, some occasional cracking of gum arabic.
[Coblenz, Paris, London: J. H"lscher, A. Bertrand, Ackermann and Co., 1839-41]
Abbey Travel 615; Field 1036; Goetzmann 21; Howes M443a; Sabin 47014. Wagner-Camp-Becker 76:1,3
Bodmer was relatively unknown in his native Switzerland when the German ethnologist Prince Maximilian asked the artist to accompany him in his travels among the Plains Indians from 1832 to 1834. Maximilian, Bodmer and their company journeyed from St. Louis up the Missouri River aboard the American Fur Company steamboat Yellowstone. They stopped at forts built by the Fur Company along the Missouri and first encountered Indians at Bellvue; from here they continued aboard the steamboat Assinboine, meeting the Crees and Assinboins at Fort Union. The expedition spent their first winter at Fort Clark and here encountered the Mandans, Mintari and Crow. The westernmost point of the journey, Fort Mackenzie, was reached by keelboat. Here they lived among the Blackfeet for several weeks. Maximilians's increasing sense of danger caused him to end the expedition and in May 1834 the party returned to St. Louis.
Bodmer's depictions of the Plains Indians reached the public and received great acclaim for their clear and accurate depiction of the Plains and its people. Ironically, these images became both the first and last records of certain native North American peoples: the 1837 smallpox epidemic killed more than half the Blackfeet and almost completely killed off the Mandans.
The list of subscribers in the second text volume states that these plates were available in five issues: with all plates uncolored; with all plates uncolored on india paper; with 61 uncolored and 20 colored plates; with 61 uncolored plates on india paper and 20 colored plates; and with all plates handcolored on wove "Velin Imperialpapier." The present set appears to be from the last and most desirable issue, with each plate printed on wove paper of similar weight and slightly varying texture and with original colors. When found together with the original text volumes, the thirty-three vignette plates are often seen printed on half sheets to accompany the thirty-three text chapters. These same images were often also printed on full sheets, as they have been in this set, to match the atlas plates and form a uniform size for binding.
Provenance: The Estate of Theodore Hicks Lee, New York, by descent.
The Estate of Theodore Hicks Lee
Sold for $300,000 (Includes Buyer's Premium)
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