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Portrait Gallery of American Indians

The Philadelphia Print Shop
J.O. Lewis imageMcKenney and Hall image
Gallery of American Indians


The Philadelphia Print Shop has one of the most extensive selections on antique prints of Native Americans available anywhere. From life-portraits of individual chiefs, warriors and women to first-hand depictions of typical events in the lives of the American Indians, these rare images are both dramatically decorative and historically fascinating.

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of Native Americans
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individual Indians
Go Theodor De Bry
(16th Century)
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Aboriginal Portfolio
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Go George Catlin Go Karl Bodmer
Go Rudolf Cronau
(portraits & western views)
Go Portraits of natives of
of other parts of the world
Go Reference books Go Edward S. Curtis photographs


Selection of Indian images

A series of early Native American images. From Jules Dufay's L'Amérique. Paris, 1826. 3 7/8 x 2 3/4. Engravings. Original hand color. Very good condition, except as noted.

A rare series of lovely and fascinating images of American Indians from a French history of the world by Jules Dufay. This plate came from the American volume of Dufay's Historie des Voyages, which was an account of the 'wars, social mores, products and history of different parts of the world. Each image is based to some extent on reality, but with some interesting aspects clearly not accurate. These are an early European attempt to better understand Native Americans.

From James Wimer's Events in Indian History. Lancaster or Philadelphia, 1841-1843. 9 x 11 1/2. Lithographs by Thomas Sinclair. Folding book illustration. Clean but with irregular dimensions and old folds. Sabin, 23214; Howes, W-548.

A series depicting events in America, mostly within the United States in the early years. $350 each

Buffalo Hunt, Chase
George Catlin. "Buffalo Hunt, Chase." Plate 7. From Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio. London: G. Catlin, 1844. Folio; 12 1/4 x 18 1/2. Lithograph drawn by McGahey and printed by Day & Hague. Full original hand color. Very good condition.

The prints of George Catlin mark a poignant and heroic moment in the history of American art and culture. Setting out to chronicle and immortalize Indian culture, Catlin's career was one of mid-19th century pioneer adventure and spirit colored by the ideal of the 'noble savage' in his pristine environment. In 1830 he went out to St. Louis and from there traveled extensively for several years to Indian villages along the Platte and Missouri rivers and then later to tribes throughout the mid and far west. The result was some 500 paintings and one of the most significant chronicles of Indian life and culture ever produced. The prints Catlin later published from his paintings, with their fascinating and important subjects, as well as their rich color, detail and artistic worth, are a noble legacy from Catlin's memorable career. During his sojourn in the west, Catlin spent much time recording the customs of the Native Americans, including their hunting techniques. This image shows the action of a buffalo hunt in graphic detail. One Indian, whose horse seems to have been knocked over by a dying buffalo, stands and shoots his arrow at another beast, while nearby a mounted hunter sends an arrow true into the side of a massive bull. A third figure in the foreground shows a brave stepping from his galloping mount, about to be gored by a buffalo, onto the back of another thundering beast. The action, detail of costume and weapons, makes this print a terrific combination of ethnological artifact and aesthetic masterpiece. $5,750
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Curtis' Indian Photographs

Curtis: Land of the SiouxSpacerCurtis: Lone Chief - OtoSpacerCurtis: Modern Cupeno House

Prints by Edward S. Curtis. New York, 1907-30. Ca. 14 x 17 1/4 (platemarks) plus full margins. Photogravures in sepia. Holland paper. Excellent condition.

Classic photographic prints from Curtis' The North American Indian . . . edited by Frederick Webb Hodge with a foreword by Theodore Roosevelt. From 1898 to 1900 Curtis had been using photography to record American Indians of the Pacific Northwest. Encouraged by Harriman, Muir and Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan financed an expanded project that resulted in the production of 40,000 photographs. A complete set of the portfolio eventually had 2,234 photogravures; however, only 272 of the proposed 500 sets were issued. Most sets were issued on the Holland paper, but a small number were printed on vellum. Using masterful photography, Curtis was able to record that last truly itinerant tribes of Indians in North America.

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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated July 24, 2015