WEED, CHARLES LEANDER
The Original Big Tree, 32 feet diameter. Charles Weed, 1864
Mammoth albumen print (15 ½ x 20 in.), mounted.
CURTIS, EDWARD S.
Original glass plate interpositive prepared by Curtis for the printing of The North American Indian. Curtis, 1924
This is a splendid original glass plate made for Edward Curtis’s The North American Indian, the greatest photographic work on Native Americans. Curtis, one of the greatest American artists of his era, was the most celebrated photographer of North American Indians.
WEED, CHARLES LEANDER
Sentinel Rock, 3270 Feet High. San Francisco, 1864
This spectacular view shows Sentinel Rock towering above a rider on horseback in a well-lit clearing.
Collection of Ten Photographs from Mooney’s Pioneering Investigations of the Ghost Dance and Other Native American Circle Dances. Various places, c. 1892-93
The rare and important collection documents the famous Ghost Dance and related circle dances soon after Wounded Knee. The collection testifies to the tragic demise of the Native American spiritual and cultural practices during the tumultuous Ghost Dance period. These photographs were taken by James Mooney (1861-1921), an anthropologist with the Bureau of American Ethnology. He left Washington in late 1890 to investigate the potentially incendiary Ghost Dance movement. Mooney’s rare portrait of Wovoka is one highlight of the collection. Mooney’s Ghost Dance photographs are of the greatest rarity in the market. We can trace no others having appeared for sale.
(WATKINS, TABER &c.)
An album of 32 photographs of Yosemite and the American West. Various places, c. 1890s
This beautiful album contains many splendid views of the scenic wonders of Yosemite. Subjects include the many magnificent falls, the Mariposa Grove of sequoias, and the great geological formations. At least two of the views in this collection were taken by Carleton Watkins. Those for which attribution to Watkins has been confirmed are singled out below, but this collection merits further investigation to identify Watkins photographs.
Opening day of the Suez Canal. Port Said , Nov. 16, 1869
This photograph depicts the harbor and canal on the day of the opening of the Suez Canal, the “greatest engineering feat of the nineteenth century” (Smith). “Clearly, the canal’s opening festivities placed Egypt in a new way on the European cultural map” (Haddad, “Digging to India: Modernity, Imperialism, and the Suez Canal”).
Collection of 15 Mariposa Grove of Mammoth Trees. San Francisco: Bradley & Rulofson, 1872
This is a fine run of 15 Muybridge photographs of the big trees of the Mariposa Grove. Muybridge made two photographic expeditions to Yosemite, the first in 1867 and the second in 1872. There he established himself as the equal of his principal competitor, Carleton Watkins. These spectacular photographs reflect the characteristic romantic mood of Muybridge’s Yosemite views, showing his fascination with rough, irregular surfaces, colossal forms, and apocalyptic landscapes.
An important collection of 40 mammoth-plate photographs of the American West, created for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Watkins, c. 1863-74.
Carleton Watkins exhibited these very photographs at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, the first world’s fair in America. Watkins is the greatest of the first generation of photographers of the American West. His early photographs of Yosemite and Utah have never been surpassed. When his work was exhibited back East, the New York Times declared, “As specimens of the photographic art they are unequaled. The views are … indescribably unique and beautiful. Nothing in the way of landscapes can be more impressive.”
A Highly Important Personal Album created by or for Carleton Watkins and his family, containing more than 350 photographs. Various places, ca. 1880
This extraordinary album documents the career of Carleton Watkins, the greatest of the first generation of photographers of the American West and a giant in the history of photography. Watkins “stands today at the symbolic apex of all that is unreservedly grand about the American West of the mid-nineteenth century” (Palmquist). The album also contains an important collection of western photographs from negatives taken by Alfred Hart and later acquired by Watkins.