Apr 15, 2021 - Sale 2564

Sale 2564 - Lot 103

Estimate: $ 1,200 - $ 1,800
(COMMERCE & EXPANSION.) McGahey; after George Catlin. Ball-Play Dance. Hand-colored lithograph 16 3/4 x 22 inches; some restoration and moderate wear in margins, 1 1/2-inch closed tear through caption, mat toning. London: Day & Haghe, [1844]

Additional Details

Catlin originally painted this scene of a Choctaw lacrosse ceremony in 1834 near Fort Gibson, in what is now eastern Oklahoma, while accompanying General Leavenworth's First Dragoon Expedition. In his "Letters and Notes," he recalled "Night came on without the appearance of any players on the ground. But soon after dark, a procession of lighted flambeaux was seen coming from each encampment, to the ground where the players assembled . . . and at the beat of the drums and chaunts of the women, each party of players commenced the ‘ball-play dance.' Each party danced for a quarter of an hour . . . rattling their ball-sticks together in the most violent manner, and singing as loud as they could raise their voice . . . and all their voices joined in chaunts to the Great Spirit; in which they were soliciting his favour in deciding the game to their advantage." It is here set to stone as Plate #22 from the first edition of Catlin's famous North American Indian Portfolio.