Fine lithograph with original hand-colouring of a native American chief and warrior – a landmark in American culture.
Thomas McKenny, formerly a director in the Office of Indian Affairs, together with James Hall, a lawyer and writer on the west, embarked on the publication of these lithographs as a way of providing a true visual representation of a fast vanishing culture.
The fine coloured illustrations are taken from the work of the artist Charles Bird King who, where possible, painted the subjects from life in his Washington studio, or otherwise re-worked paintings after the watercolours of the artist James Otto Lewis, who had produced an earlier, albeit, cruder, series of lithographs.
Only four of the original oil paintings survive (the rest having been destroyed in the Smithsonian fire of 1865), so these lithographs provide the sole remaining likenesses for some of the leading native American leaders of the early nineteenth century.
History of the Indian Tribes of North America was the most elaborate publication in the United States up to that time.
Original hand-coloured lithographed plate from History of the Indian Tribes of North America. Overall size: 57 x 42 cm.
Howes M129; cf. Sabin 43410a.
Stock ID: 90267