Sale 322 Lot 171
MCKENNEY, THOMAS L. AND JAMES HALL
History of the Indian Tribes of North America, with Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs. Philadelphia: Frederick W. Greenough, 1838; Daniel Rice and James G. Clark, 1844.
3 vols. Folio, contemporary 3/4 brown morocco over marbled boards, Louis Philippe I copy with his monogram, featuring the initials "LP" surmounted by a crown, gilt-stamped to spine in four compartments, original buff endpapers. Housed in custom cloth clamshell cases with titles in gilt to leather spine labels. First edition. Complete with 120 hand-colored lithographed plates heightened with gum arabic, and black and white fold-out lithographed map to vol. 3.
Originally issued to Louis Philippe I, King of France during the July Monarchy, a tumultuous period during which the bourgeoisie dominated and which marked a shift in the basis of legitimate power from divine right to popular support. Late in his reign the king's popularity began to decline. In 1848, social unrest escalated into revolution, the fall of the monarchy, and the establishment of the Second Republic. Louis Philippe was forced to abdicate the French throne in 1848 and flee to England where he lived the remainder of his life in exile. After his death, his family sold his belongings, including the present copy of this work, at auction in 1852.
In 1821, Thomas McKenney, Superintendent of the United States Indian Trade Office (1816-1822), Superintendent of Indian Affairs (1822-1824), and the first director of the Office of Indian Affairs, began to commission artist Charles Bird King to produce portraits of Native Americans who had traveled to Washington, D.C. as delegates to negotiate treaties with the federal government. McKenney then commissioned lithographs of the paintings to be published in three volumes, each portrait to be accompanied by a biography of the subject, written by James Hall, author, judge and Treasurer of Illinois. The publication was never fully completed due to the high cost of the subscription fees. In the winter of 1865, 295 of the original Indian portraits completed for the project, in storage at the Smithsonian Institution, were destroyed in a fire, and only five survived. Due to the work of McKenney, Hall and King, before and after the fire, the current work is considered one of "the grandest color plate books issued in the United States up to the time of its publication... " (Reese).
Light wear to boards; gilt-embossed bookplate J.C. Mac Coy tipped to front pastedown, all vols., three plates (Ledagie, Amisquew, and John Ross), with signature marks and residue, vol. 1; plates heavily cleaned; intermittent foxing mainly affecting tissue guards; no repairs to pages and colors bright.
Estimate $ 140,000-180,000
Reese Nineteenth Century American Color Plate Books 24; Howes M129, Field 992, Sabin 43410a-43411.
Catalogue des livres provenant des bibliothèques du feu roi Louis-Philippe. [Vente à Paris, Salle Silvestre, 8 mars 1852 et jours suivants.] Paris : L. Potier, 1852, n° 2756.
The plates in Volume I are dated 1837-1838 (with the imprint of E. C. Biddle and F.W. Greenough); the plates in Volume II are dated 1837-1838 and 1841-1842 (with the imprint and J.T. Bowen, and James Clark G. Clark and Daniel Rice); and the plates in Volume III are dated 1842 and 1843 (all with the imprint of Daniel Rice and James G. Clark).
vol. 1 - all plates Frederick W. Greenough and E.C. Biddle
vol. 2 - 7 plates J.T Bowen; 4 plates Daniel Rice and James Clark
Vol. 3 - all plates Daniel Rice and James Clark