London: Published by the Author at the Egyptian Hall, 1841. First Edition. Octavo. Item #029995
Two volume set, first issue with "Frederick" for "Zedikiah" on page. 104. The first edition of Catlin's famous book, one of the most important works on American Indians published in the 19th century. The book contains hundreds of line drawings of southern and western Indians. It has both the important maps showing the locations of Indian tribes as well as the important chart. A remarkable copy not only given by George Catlin to the publisher John Murray but also contains a very rare pass written and signed by Catlin to admit Mr. Hughes and Party to the Catlin's Indian Exhibition. As Brian Dippie has pointed out, George Catlin's quest for patronage began with his friend Charles Augustus Murray, who helped him to acquire a provisional booking for the largest room within the Egyptian Hall. He then appealed to John Murray (iii) to be the publisher; however, the prospect even of producing 300 images was too big a project so Catlin found a group of important subscribers beginning with Queen Victoria and other key members of the royal family (see, his Notes, Vol. I, p. 50-52). Once the item was issued in 1841, he came to regret his decision not to be the publisher. Nevertheless, Catlin inscribed this copy to John Murray who later inscribed it to his friend Augustus Samuel Twyford (Law Journal, II). It lacks only the errata slip. One of the best association copies between the author and his friend John Murray (iii), the major publisher at the mid-19th century, as well as having a lovely signed Zaehnsdorf binding of full green morocco elaborately decorated in gilt, raised bands, lettering and other compartments decorated in gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, inner gilt dentelles, a few cosmetics to corners or spine ends. An envelope is tipped in with a very rare note: Admit Mr. Hughes & Party to Catlin's Indian Exhibition. signed: G Catlin. There is damp staining to volume I mostly margins affecting pages 238-264 and a couple of plates. A beautiful set. [Howes C241; Wagner-Camp 84:1; Streeter Sale 1805; Carl Wheat, [s-Mississippi West, 453-455].