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Prints by Captain Seth Eastman


Captain Seth Eastman was a soldier who spent many years in the American west, particularly working as an artist to document Native Americas for the U.S. government and for private purposes. In the 1840s he was commander at Fort Snelling, MN, and he was accompanied by his wife, Mary Henderson Eastman. Eastman and Mary were very sympathetic to the Indians and they took great pains to learn their language and customs, making Eastman's images some of the most accurate and interesting of the nineteenth century. Eastman's images appeared in a number of rare publications and they are both attractive and fascinating in their depictions.

Marriage Customs
Prints by Charles Schuessele after Capt. S. Eastman. From The Iris. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1852. Chromolithograph by P.S. Duval. Ca. 5 x 7 3/4. Very good condition. Denver.

A series of colorful images by Eastman from The Iris, a gift book, or as the title page calls it, "an illuminated souvenir," issued in 1852. The prints from The Iris are based on first hand observations and they are superbly chromolithography by leading Philadelphia printmaker P.S. Duval.

Ball Play
Seth Eastman. "Ball play of the Dahcota (Sioux) Indians." New York: [1854]. Engraving by Charles Burt. 5 5/8 x 7 5/8. Very good condition. Denver.

This fine image shows a winter version of "Ball Play," being played on ice by the Dakota Sioux. The young men are enthusiastically playing this early form of lacrosse on a frozen river, while others sit on the bank enjoying the spectacle. The Indian village is shown in the background. $175

Indian Medas
Seth Eastman. "Indian Medas Secretly Showing the Contents of their Medicine Sacks to Each Other." From Henry R. Schoolcraft's Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States, Part V. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1855. 5 3/4 x 8 3/8. Minor margin blemishes. Otherwise, very good condition. Denver. Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was born near Albany, New York in 1793. His 1819 View of the Lead Mines of Missouri was the first book published on western mining in the U.S.. He later became an Indian agent to the Upper Great Lakes tribes and learned the Indian histories, languages, and customs. He was commissioned by Congress to study Native Americans. In 1847, he suffered a paralytic stroke, but still went on to assemble his definitive six volume work on the Indian tribes with the help of his wife, Mary. Eastman heard about this work and asked to be assigned as illustrator. In 1849, Eastman settled in Washington with his family, and began the monumental 5 year task of completing some 275 pages of illustrations for Schoolcraft's work. $165


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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated April 19, 2013