Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio. Hunting Scenes and Amusements of the Rocky Mountains and Prairies of America. From Drawings and Notes of the Author, Made During Eight Years' Travel Amongst Forty-Eight of the Wildest and Most Remote Tribes of Savages in North America. by George Catlin
About the Object
After Catlin established his Indian Gallery in London's Egyptian Hall, he decided to produce a large folio edition of his paintings. The volume provided Catlin with a means of widening the audience for his advocacy of the American Indian. The first lithograph was drawn on stone by Catlin himself, but for the remainder of the images he enlisted John McGahey, an English lithographer. This edition of Catlin's famous work includes six unnumbered lithographs comprising two portraits, a group portrait, two tribal dance scenes, and a hunting scene. These six plates were evidently executed in the 1840s, when Catlin envisioned an ambitious series of Indian portfolios that were subsequently never issued. Research has demonstrated that the thirty-one plate issue of this portfolio was not produced until the firm of Chatto & Windus purchased the copyright to the book from its earlier publisher, Henry Bohn. According to the Chatto & Windus records which survive, Catlin's plates were printed from the original lithograph stones in 1871 and published four years later. The present book includes the original list of plates, which is often found lacking in most copies. The thirty-one plate issue is much rarer than any of the twenty-five plate issues that were done earlier.