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Lot #560
George Catlin

“My unfortunate works almost make me wish I never had wrote a line for publication.” Catlin laments his difficulties with his publishers.

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Description

“My unfortunate works almost make me wish I never had wrote a line for publication.” Catlin laments his difficulties with his publishers.

American artist, author, and traveler (1796–1872) best known for his Indian Gallery, a monumental collection of paintings documenting the quickly vanishing customs, costumes, and cultures of various Native American peoples in their natural environment. Produced by Catlin in the 1830s over the course of five westward journeys to observe his subjects firsthand, the Indian Gallery represents a towering achievement in both American art and ethnography of the 19th century. ALS signed “Geo Catlin,” 5.25 x 8, February 8, 1847. Lengthy letter to Putnam, his New York publisher concerning legal and financial problems involving storage and delivery of his books, and difficulties with his London publisher Henry G. Bohn. In part, “I had a note from the Colourer about the plates to color…there should be more than 100 copies complete, unbound in your new house if Mr. Day informed me right. His letter of 8 months since states that he then delivered 100 copies complete, and unbound to you…At the binders there are about 30 incomplete sets unbound, completing the incomplete sets that Hankins has found in your warehouse…My unfortunate works almost make me wish I never had wrote a line for publication, but, as they stand, I must make the best of them I can. I want to know what I can do with Bohn…and take my portfolio into my own hands.” In fine condition, with light show-through from text on reverse, and some light intersecting folds. R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #340 - Ended December 10, 2008