1841 · New York
First American edition of Catlin's landmark study of Native Americans. Catlin visited 48 Indian tribes on his tour of the West and executed some 600 paintings. Letters and Notes includes hundreds of engravings which were reduced from the original paintings under Catlin's supervision. The text and illustrations portray diverse aspects of Indian life including village scenes, games, dances, funerals, sudatories, religious ceremonies, buffalo hunting, etc., plus detailed descriptions and depictions of native dress and custom. After taking the entire gallery of his paintings to England, Catlin published his "Letters & Notes," using text from a series of articles he had written for the New York Commercial Advertiser from 1832 to 1837, and illustrating it with line-cut reductions of his original paintings. The folding map is of the Indian Localities in 1833 (a second map in vol. II shows the effects of forced migration after 1840). Howes C24.
Recased, in a very attractive binding with gilt lettering to spine and marbled boards, new endpapers; lacking 3 plates, frontispiece and title of volume I with a large pale damp stain, volume II title & first contents leaf with a couple of pencil marks, both titles and most plates with some pale foxing, a few plates and the folding map brittle at edges with tiny chips/tears not affecting images, the folding map cleanly split at one fold and repaired, one plate with gutter tear in margin, two plates with chipped corners (one of which is laid down on paper); a fine decorative binding copy, internally in a very good copy. (Inventory #: BOOKS008231)