1836. Philadelphia: Edward C. Biddle; Daniel Rice and J.G. Clarke, 1836-.
3 folio volumes (14.5 x 20 inches), with 120 hand-colored lithographs heightened with gum arabic. Modern black pebbled cloth, spines lettered and ruled in gilt. Light rubbing and soiling to cloth; text block with some substantial tears and tape repairs or reinforcement, some detached leaves have been mounted, dampstaining in margins throughout; plates somewhat toned with stains, light foxing and varying states of wear, some reinforced with tape; plates fair to very good; good overall.
§ First edition of McKenney and Hall's magnificent series of hand-colored portraits of the Indians of North America, described by Field as "one of the most... important ever published on the American Indians." Howes notes the plates as "mostly the work of [Charles Bird] King," and declares that they are "the most colorful portraits of Indians ever executed... The original oil paintings of which the plates were copies were all destroyed in the 1865 Smithsonian fire."
A working set with generally good plates and the text quite legible though stained. A few leaves of text missing, some plates torn with text or image missing, lacks the folding map and the list of subscribers. Not collated as to completeness of text leaves, sold as-is. BAL 6943 (describing the bewildering number of variants of texts and plates). Even Reese gave up on describing all the issue points in his sets. Item #124800