HAND-COLORED VIGNETTE BODMER PLATE, REPRODUCED IN 1844 TO MEET CURRENT DEMAND
BODMER, Karl. Mexkemahuastan. Chief of the Gros-ventres des Prairies. [London: Edward Lumley, 1844]. Original re-engraving, plate impression measures approximately 8 1/2 inches by 12 inches, matted, entire piece measures 16 1/2 inches by 19 1/2 inches. $1500.
One of 33 hand-colored “vignette” plates from Edward Lumley’s 1844 reproduction of Bodmer’s Atlas for Maximilian Wied-Neuwied’s Travels in the Interior of North America.
Maximilian’s monumental work was originally published in German (1839-41); a French translation followed in 1840-43 and an English translation in 1843. By 1844, “the demand for the work overran the supply, and Edward Lumley, a London bookseller, reproduced the plates, without altering the title-page” (Sabin XI, 516), “but the absence of Bodmer’s stamp make [them] readily distinguishable (Howes M443a). Nonetheless, “Bodmer’s watercolors are perhaps the most accurate works of art ever made of American Indians during the nineteenth century. His attention in detail to beadwork, personal symbols, clothing, accoutrements, and facial expression make these portraits precious documents of a lost world” (Robert Moore). This beautiful hand-colored portrait of Chief Mexkemahuastan is Lumley’s 1844 re-engraving of vignette number XX, first engraved in 1840 and published in Bodmer’s original Atlas (1841). Not mentioned in Ruud. See Howes M443a; Wagner-Camp 76; Sabin 47017, note.
An attractive contemporary Bodmer reproduction, in fine condition.