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Edward Sheriff Curtis (American, 1868–1952)
LOT ID: 65565
Kashhila - Wishham, 1909

Photogravure, Japanese Gampi Tissue
22 х 18 in. (55.88 x 45.72 cm.)
Plate signed, below image, center.
Foundry/Publisher John Andrew & Son / The North American Indian Inc.
Lot description
Artist: Edward S. Curtis
Title: Kashhila - Wishham
Medium: Photogravure, Japanese Gampi Tissue
Portfolio VIII, Plate 283
Paper Size: 22" x 18" (55.8cm x 45.7cm)
Image Size: 15.75" x 11" (40cm x 28cm)

The gallery retail for this photograph is $5,850.
Auction Estimate: $4,000 - $5,000

This young Chinookan Indian of the Plateau gazes directly into the camera with an open expression. He wears his hair in a pompadour, has fur wrapped braids, a multi-stranded shell (“hishi”) choker with a large conch shell and brass center disc, a beaded buckskin shirt, and a ribbon and mirror-adorned fur sash/mantle over his left shoulder. He wears metal hoop earrings and an eagle feather. In all, an elegant portrait of a young Native American man.

This vintage photogravure is in excellent overall condition. Shallow, minor 1" crease at lower left portion of image, visible only in raking light. There is minor adhesive residue in upper corners on the reverse side of the print. Watermark, “Van Gelder Zonen”, in left margin of vintage overmat. Excellent ink impression. This photogravure was professionally washed and de-acidified to restore it to its original archival state and beauty.

This original vintage photogravure is printed on handmade Japanese gampi (“tissue”) paper. This is the rarest and most expensive of the three original paper stocks chosen by Curtis and J.P. Morgan for Curtis’ North American Indian project. Only Morgan and a few others paid the substantial premium to get the rare tissue edition. Tissue prints are noted for their subtlety, luminosity, and strength. Gampi papermaking is a millennia old tradition in Japan and the art is often handed down within a family from generation to generation over hundreds of years.

Edward Curtis is the most widely collected fine art photography in the history of the medium, and his work is found in major public and private collections internationally. He has also become the most widely exhibited. His work has moved viewers on every continent but Antarctica. He created an unprecedented body of work, which has won awards and accolades internationally. While the project nearly drove him into bankruptcy and cost him his health and family, today the aggregate value of the photographs he created exceeds one half of a billion dollars. Please see biography link above for further details.
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