Premium pages left without account:

CURTIS, Edward S (1868-1952) The North American Indian being...

Archive
Estimate: US$1,000,000 - US$1,500,000
Price realised:  US$2,882,500
Lot number 38, Views: 245

CURTIS, Edward S. (1868-1952). The North American Indian being a Series of Volumes Picturing and Describing the Indians of the United States and Alaska. Edited by Frederick Webb Hodge. Foreword by Theodore Roosevelt. Field Research conducted under the patronage of J. Pierpont Morgan . [Cambridge, Mass.], 1907-1930.
CURTIS, Edward S. (1868-1952). The North American Indian being a Series of Volumes Picturing and Describing the Indians of the United States and Alaska. Edited by Frederick Webb Hodge. Foreword by Theodore Roosevelt. Field Research conducted under the patronage of J. Pierpont Morgan . [Cambridge, Mass.], 1907-1930. Together 40 volumes: text in 20 volumes, 4 o (313 x 239 mm); Supplementary Large Plates in 20 portfolios, large folio (582 x 239 mm). Text in original publisher's brown half morocco gilt, top edges gilt, others uncut, most stamp-signed by H. Blackwell. Portfolios in original half morocco, original cloth ties. COMPLETE: Text volumes : 1,511 illustrations, comprising 1,505 photogravures, 4 maps and 2 diagrams. Portfolios : 723 photogravures in sepia on full sheets with deckle edges preserved (numbered 1-722 with two plates numbered 400); letterpress index leaves in each portfolio. LIMITED EDITION, number 435 of 500 proposed sets (but probably only 272 sets produced), this copy on Japan vellum, volume one signed by Edward S. Curtis and dated 1907. The exact number of sets that were printed on Japan vellum is not known (see note below). POSSIBLY THE FINEST OBTAINABLE COMPLETE SET OF CURTIS'S MONUMENTAL WORK, THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN , ON THE MORE DESIRABLE JAPAN VELLUM PROVENANCE: Ms. Emma Marburg, Baltimore, Maryland, original subscriber. CONDITION: This copy is overall in exceptional condition, exhibiting none of the characteristic offsetting and tissue burn that is found in nearly all examined copies. The bindings are remarkably fresh and bright. A conscientious (and brief) list of defects may be summarized: Text volumes: A few minor scuffs to spines. Portfolio Plates: The plates are generally in exceptionally fine condition. Plate 291 in volume eight with some pale staining/foxing, mostly marginal. Plates 363-4 in volume ten with some very slight cockling, mostly marginal. Plate 400 in volume 12 with some minor dust soiling at outer sheet edge. Volume 14 with most tissue guards not present. Portfolio Bindings: Volumes 13 and 14 with spines slightly sunned, ties on volume 14 slightly frayed, slightest rubbing to some extremities. A COMPLETE SUBSCRIBER'S SET OF CURTIS'S MONUMENTAL WORK, The North American Indian , one of the most expensive undertakings in the history of book production and one of the most comprehensive ethnographic records of the native tribes of North America, or of any aboriginal people. According to author and critic A.D. Coleman, it is "an absolutely unmatched masterpiece of visual anthropology, and one of the most thorough, extensive and profound photograph works of all time" ( Sacred Legacy: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian , ed. Christopher Cardozo, NY, 2000, p.25). The North American Indian took 16 years longer to complete than projected, and exceeded its budget by nearly $1.4 million. Curtis's immense work contains one of the largest visual records of Native Americans in existence, produced in lavish style under the patronage of J. Pierpont Morgan. BEGINNINGS Edward Sheriff Curtis was born in White Water, Wisconsin in 1868 but his great interest in American Indians developed after his family moved to Minnesota. Here, Curtis lived near the Chippewa, Menominee, and Winnebago tribes. Through instruction manuals available at the time, the teenage Curtis built crude cameras and taught himself the rudiments of photography. In 1887, the Curtises moved to Washington Territory in order to find a more temperate climate for Curtis's ailing father. There Edward Curtis encountered many of the Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest. The sudden death of his father left Curtis responsible for the family, and he provided for them by farming, fishing, digging clams and doing chores for neighbors. Throughout this time Curtis continued to hone his photographic skills and in 1891 purchased a share in a photographic studio for $150. This venture lasted less than a year, but C

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Important Books, Atlases and Manuscripts: The Private Library of Kenneth Nebenzahl
Date of the auction: 10 Apr 2012
Address: Christie's
10 April 2012, New York, Rockefeller Center