Feb 14, 2017 - Sale 2436

Sale 2436 - Lot 39

Price Realized: $ 12,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952)
Portfolio 20, The North American Indian. With 35 large-format photogravures of indigenous Alaskans. Photogravures on vellum, the images measuring 11 1/2x15 1/2 inches (29.2x39.4 cm.), and the reverse, the sheets 17 1/4x21 3/4 inches (43.8x55.2 cm.), each with the printed Curtis credit, publisher credit, title, date, and plate number (Nos. 688-722), on recto; with a printed list of the titles. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Suffolk Engraving Co., 1928

Additional Details

Rarely offered for sale, this Curtis portfolio of picturesque scenes and striking portraits of Alaskan Kotzebue and Nunivak was acquired by a Private Collector in 1972. The images depict a critical point in Eskimo (Inuit) culture: Curtis captured native peoples as the population was coming into contact with Canadian and American influences.

Some of these influences, particularly in textiles and clothing, were literally woven into the fabric of the culture (note button ornaments and knitted caps), while more traditional items (seal bladder buoys, seal skin anoraks, and seal skin drums) are still used regularly.

The kayaks and the fishing boats, with their single mast sails, have long since vanished from the landscape along with authentic "stilt houses." Curtis' images capture the last remnants of a first peoples nomadic culture before it incorporated (although some might say was corrupted) by the West, at the very moment these changes began.

Includes: The Drummer--Nunivak Nunivak Children Reindeer--Nunivak Boys in Kaik--Nunivak Kenouwun--Nunivak Woman and Child--Nunivak Ready for Sealing--Nunivak Uyowutcha--Nunivak Hooper Bay Youth The Village--Hooper Bay King Island Village from the Sea King Island Village King Island Homes Qunaninru--King Island Launching the Boat--Little Diomede Island Diomede Boat Crew Old Stone House--Diomede Island Launching the Whale Boat--Cape Prince of Wales Cape Prince of Wales Man Whaling Crew--Cape Prince of Wales A Kotzebue Man A Foggy Day--Kotzebue Starting Up the Noatak River, Kotzebue Jackson, Interpreter at Kotzebue The Muskrat-Hunter--Kotzebue Arriving Home--Noatak Ola--Noatuk A Family Group--Noatak Noatak Kaiaks Nungoktok--Noatak Jajuk--Selawik Charlie Wood--Kobuk Kobuk Costume.

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