"TO MY FRIEND… WHO KNOWS THE WEST AND MAY CARE TO FOLLOW MY TRAILS THROUGH THESE PAGES": FIRST EDITION OF REMINGTON'S FIRST BOOK, PONY TRACKS, 1895, WITH 70 ILLUSTRATIONS AFTER HIS SKETCHES, INSCRIBED BY FREDERIC REMINGTON TO A FRIEND
REMINGTON, Frederic. Pony Tracks. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1895. Octavo, original gilt-stamped pictorial russet cloth. Housed in a custom cloth chemise and half morocco slipcase.
First edition of Remington's first book, with 70 full-page and in-text halftones after his sketches, inscribed: "To my friend Mr Jas Hill—who knows the west and may care to follow my trails through these pages. Frederic Remington. New York Oct. 9 '96—." A handsome copy in original bright gilt pictorial cloth.
"The triumvirate of Theodore Roosevelt, Owen Wister and Frederic Remington was foremost" in creating the mythic figure of the cowboy, and establishing the West as a metaphor for America (Literary History of the American West, 515). The work of Frederic Remington, consummate illustrator of the West, "is notable for its swift action and rendering of character… Though there were delineators of the West and frontier before Frederic Remington—notably Karl Bodmer, F.O.C Darley, George Catlin… none have surpassed him" (ANB). Remington once wrote, "I knew the wild riders and the vacant land were about to vanish forever… Without knowing exactly how to do it, I began to try to record some facts around me, and the more I looked the more the panorama unfolded" (Thrapp, 1204). With page of publisher's advertisement at rear. Howes R207. Graff 3458. Streeter 4216. Adams, Rampaging Herd, 1878. BAL 16489.
Interior generally quite nice with only a few spots of foxing, corners bumped, only slight rubbing and toning to extremities. A near-fine inscribed copy.