Philadelphia: Rice, Rutter & Co., 1865. Early edition. Hardcover. Octavo (8vo). Very good+ condition. Item #019811
Volumes I & II of a 3 volume set only. In publisher's full leather deluxe royal octavo binding with raised bands, blind-tooled covers, and all edges gilt; minor shelfwear. Illustrated with hand-colored plates of which Howes says they are "the most colorful portraits of Indians ever executed". With the exception of the frontisportrait and gutter of the title page [see images] and the gutters of a few adjacent pages of Vol. II, the original hand-coloring is vivid and the plates and text are generally bright and clean, with only occasional light foxing and a few spots of soiling; some of the earlier octavo editions are sometimes found affected by age-toning. Vol. I: iv, 333 pages of text; 40 plates. Vol. II: [ii], 319 pages of text; 50 plates. Lacking Vol. III which contains 30 plates. These plates are from Charles Bird King's original studio oil paintings, and from field watercolor portraits executed by young frontier artist James Otto Lewis. Most of the paintings were destroyed in the 1865 Smithsonian fire. Hence, the folio and octavo editions are the only "faithful recordings of the features and dress of celebrated American Indians who lived and died long before the age of photography" (McKenny-Hall Portrait Gallery, 23). Howes M129. Measures 10 3/4" x 7" (273mm x 176mm).