Sale 167 Lot 219
*(NATIVE AMERICAN) MCKENNEY, THOMAS L., 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. Vol. I: [Philadelphia: Frederick Greenough, 1838]. Vol. II: Philadelphia: Daniel Rice and James G. Clark, 1842, Vol. III: Philadelphia: Daniel Rice and James G. Clark, 1844.
3 vols. Atlas folio, publisher's original three-quarter brown morocco over brown cloth, elaborately gilt-tooled and lettered spines, yellow endpapers, gilt title to upper boards, a.e.g. An unsophisticated set with only hinges reinforced and no repairs. Mixed editions, vol. I lacking title page, vol. II title page BAL state B, vol. III title page BAL state A. With 117 (of 120) color lithographed plates heightened with gum arabic in mixed states, including numerous proof copies.
Vol. 1: Early mixed state. With 45 (of 48) plates. -120, -206, [2, blank]. Lacking title, contents, 4 pp. War Dance... Explanation of the Plate, (which subscribers were directed to remove and replace with a corrected version later), pp. 121-124 and two portrait lithographs, comprising [seated] Chippeway Squaw and Child and O-kee-makee-quid. Includes 28 plates with no imprint.
Vol. 2: Title page in BAL state B. [2, blank], [1-2], 5-237, [2, blank]. 48 plates. Erratum slip inserted at p. 58. Lacking pp. 3/4.
Vol. 3: Title page in BAL state A. [2, blank], , -196, [2, Pocahontas], [3, blank]. Complete with 24 plates plus sheet with two lithographic maps and one table. Lacking 17-page subscriber's list.
The plates are faithful copies of portraits painted from life by Charles Bird King. The original paintings later perished in the Smithsonian fire of 1865 so their appearance in this set preserves the only known likenesses of many of the most prominent Indian leaders of the nineteenth century. The idea of creating an extensive biography and portrait gallery of the North American Indian tribes was coined by Thomas L. McKenney, the first Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, based on personal interviews with the subjects. He enlisted the assistance of journalist and attorney James Hall, who, following McKenney's release from his position at the Smithsonian, assisted in completing the biographies and general history. The resulting portfolio is widely considered "one of the most distinctive and important books in Americana" (Reese).
Originally issued in 20 parts, rebound sets are typically combinations of first and later printings of plates, and subscribers were given the opportunity to complete incomplete or damaged sets at no additional cost. Boards worn with rubbing to spine ends and corners; hinges weak and reinforced; boards starting to detach vol. III; intermittent foxing, some dampstaining, mainly marginal and to text pages; a few tears, mainly textual; many tissue guards present; even toning to plates. Otherwise plates are in good condition with exceptionally dark and bright coloring.
BAL 6934; Bennett 79; Field 992; Howes M129; Lipperheide Mc4; Reese, American Color Plate Books 24; Sabin 43410a
Estimate $ 30,000-40,000
Property from the Private Library of Dr. Simon G. Stein II, Muscatine, Iowa