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Edward Sheriff Curtis (American, 1868–1952)
LOT ID: 64878
A Chief of the Desert - Navaho, 1904

Other, Goldtone / orotone
17 х 14 in. (43.18 x 35.56 cm.)
Signed, The signature in this photograph is made directly from a digital scan of Curtis' original signature.
Edition 13/200
Foundry/Publisher Christopher Cardozo Fine Art
Lot description
Artist: Edward S. Curtis
Title: "A Chief of the Desert - Navaho"
Negative Date: 1904
Print Date: 2008
Photographic Medium: Goldtone™
Image Size: 17" x 14"(43.18cm x 35.56cm)
Framed Size: 22" x 19"(55.88cm x 48.26cm)

The gallery retail for this photograph is $3,500
Auction Estimate: $2,850 - $3,200

Edition Size: 13/200

Chief of the Desert - Navaho, 1904
This iconic Curtis portrait portrays both a noble individual and the characteristic qualities of his tribe: pride, vitality, and self-reliance. This image was used as the cover image for Edward S. Curtis: The Great Warriors by Christopher Cardozo. Curtis spent a great deal of time with the Navaho and “A Chief of the Desert” was one of his favorite portraits and continues to be highly sought-after.

This Centennial Edition™ was created using a proprietary process invented by Cardozo Fine Art in 1998. The goldtone process is an extremely rare form of photographic printing and our Goldtones™ are created in strictly limited editions. Centennial Edition Goldtones™ are created exclusively from Curtis' original glass plate negatives and therefore are contemporary original prints, not reproductions. Goldtones™ are printed directly on a high quality optical glass which is coated with a rich, unique, and custom formulated emulsion. The exposed sensitized glass plates are processed with traditional photographic chemistry and then toned twice for superb archival permanence and a warm sepia tonality. Each Goldtone™ is then backed with multiple microfine layers of brilliant golden metallic particles and finally treated with an inert archival sealant. Goldtones™ have a luminosity and three-dimensionality that is unequaled by any other photographic medium. The complexity and expense of producing goldtones in Curtis’ day meant that he printed only about 1 in 1,000 of his negatives as goldtones. Each contemporary, limited edition Goldtone™ and frame are the result of over sixty separate, distinct steps. The frame, which is a beautiful handcrafted recreation of Curtis' vintage frames, is custom made of wood and various traditional materials. We are pleased to offer this unique American treasure to a new audience of discerning collectors.

Goldtone, or Orotone, was a process of producing photographic images on glass, with a gold metallic backing, and was pioneered by Edward S. Curtis 100 years ago. It was his most favored way of producing his photographic images. These limited edition Goldtones™, by Curtis Centennial Editions, are objects of extraordinary beauty and rarity. They have a luminosity that is unequaled by any other photographic art form. Cardozo Fine Art is proud to present an historic limited edition printing of Contemporary Master Goldtones™ of Edward S. Curtis' most beautiful and evocative images of North American Indians. The images chosen for the Contemporary Master Goldtones™ are a selection of the most moving images that Curtis created in his 30-year study of North American Indians and each finished, framed and numbered Goldtone™ is the result of over sixty separate and distinct steps.
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