Lot 3BODMER, KARL
Group of 80 plates from the atlas of Prince Maximilian's Travels in the Interior of North America. [Issued in Koblenz, Paris, and London: 1839-43]. Comprising 80 finely hand-colored aquatint plates heightened with gum arabic after Karl Bodmer, most bearing Bodmer's blind-stamp, the plates with Koblenz (Holscher), Paris (Bertrand) and London (Ackermann) imprints and captions in German, French, and English. The full sheet of each plate 24 1/2 x 17 3/4 inches (62.5 x 45.5 cm). The work as published comprised 81 Tableau and Vignette plates, 80 of which are present in the current lot. From the Tableau group 47 (of 48) plates are present, all but 13 bearing the Bodmer stamp (lacks plate 12 only). The Vignette group is complete with 33 (of 33) plates, each printed on full folio sheets and all but 6 bearing the Bodmer stamp. The plates housed in a worn but contemporary maroon morocco portfolio. The current offering does not include the text volumes or map. A few plates quite soiled and stained, other scattered foxing, toning, edgewear, and chips, about three with remnants of a mounting stub along the top margin, some variation in paper stock, should be seen, sold as a collection of plates and not subject to return.
A NEARLY COMPLETE RUN OF PLATES FROM THE FINEST WORK ON THE AMERICAN FRONTIER. Present are many of the most identifiable images of the work, including Tableau plate 23 Pehriska-Ruhpa ... Moennitarri Warrior in the Costume of the Dog Danse, with the plate number corrected by hand; Tableau plate 13 Mato-Tope. A Mandan Chief; Tableau plate 18 Bison Dance of the Mandan Indians; Tableau plate 19 The Interior Hut of a Mandan Chief; and numerous other important portraits of warriors, ritual dance and hunting scenes, and beautiful landscapes.
The Swiss painter Karl Bodmer was commissioned by Prince Maximilian to record his 1832-34 journey up the Missouri River where the expedition encountered the major Plains Tribes: Cree, Assinboine, Mandan, Mintari, Crow, and Blackfeet. The images of the Blackfeet and Mandan people are particularly important as these tribes were greatly diminished by an 1837 smallpox epidemic thus "Bodmer's visual work, together with Prince Maximilian's detailed studies of these tribes, form the primary accounts of what became virtually lost cultures" (Goetzmann, Karl Bodmer's America, p. 21). Abbey, Travel 615; Howes M443a; Pilling 2522; Sabin 47015; Wagner-Camp-Becker 76:2; cf. Goetzmann (et al), Karl Bodmer's America.
Sold for $175,000
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