Tue, 19th Oct 2021 10:00

Design - Two Day Sale - Live Online

  Lot 52


Edward S Curtis (American, 1868-1952)

Edward S Curtis (American, 1868-1952)
'Havachach - Maricopa'
from 'The North American Indian: Being a Series of Volumes Picturing and Describing the Indians of the United States and Alaska', Vol. 12, published in 1907, plate no. 64, photogravure, inscribed 'From Copyright Photograph 1907 by E.S. Curtis, Photogravure by John Andrew & Son'
40.5 x 26.5cm, mounted

Lots 52-61

'The North American Indian', is one of the most expensive undertakings in the history of book production and one of the most comprehensive ethnographic records of the native tribes of North America, or of any aboriginal people.

'The North American Indian' took sixteen years longer to complete than projected and exceeded its budget by nearly $1.4 million. Curtis's immense work contains one of the largest visual records of Native Americans in existence, produced in lavish style under the patronage of J Pierpont Morgan.

Edward Sheriff Curtis was born in White Water, Wisconsin, in 1868, but his great interest in American Indians developed after his family moved to Minnesota. Here, Curtis lived near the Chippewa, Menominee, and Winnebago tribes. Through instruction manuals available at the time, the teenage Curtis built crude cameras and taught himself the rudiments of photography. In 1887, the Curtis family moved to Washington Territory in order to find a more temperate climate for Curtis's ailing father. There Edward Curtis encountered many of the Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest. The sudden death of his father left Curtis responsible for the family, and he provided for them by farming, fishing, digging clams and doing chores for neighbours. Throughout this time, Curtis continued to hone his photographic skills and, in 1891, purchased a share in a photographic studio for $150. This venture lasted less than a year, but Curtis soon formed a partnership with Thomas Guptill to build a photographic studio in Seattle.

The process of making photogravures was developed in the 1850s to produce a photographic image from an engraving plate. Once a photograph is exposed, a glass transparency is made from the negative. A series of chemical transfers to a copper plate produces an etched copper plate of the original photographic image.

From 1896 to 1930, Curtis photographed every major Native American tribe west of the Mississippi, taking over 40,000 negatives of 80 tribes. Curtis selected just one twentieth of his graphic record to represent his artistic vision of North American tribes.

Take advantage of our Sworders Delivery Service. Please see 'Shipping estimate' below.

Sold for £260

Condition report

With stains, both to the sheet and the mount. The sheet with slight warping.



To bid in person at auction for the first time please register for a bidding paddle in advance by filling out and submitting a registration form at our front desk. When registering in person we require photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence.


If you cannot attend the auction in person we can bid on your behalf. You can leave an absentee bid on our website.

The amount you bid should be your maximum bid. We will bid up to that limit for you, and remember you may end up paying less than your limit, depending on other bidding on the day.

You can leave an absentee bid up to half an hour before the start of any sale. Please note when we receive two or more absentee bids for the same amount, the first bid received will be the one taken.


If you would like to leave a commission bid on our website you can do so up until 30 minutes before the sale starts. Leaving a commission bid through sworder.co.uk is free for all registered clients. Thereafter you may register bank card details under your account in order to bid live. Click here to register an account.

BID LIVE ON sworder.co.uk

You can bid live at our auctions from the comfort of your home or office using bidding platform Sworders Live.  It is easy to register and you can watch the auction live as it happens.  A 'Bid Live' button will appear on the auction on our website homepage when a sale is live; simply click the button to sign in or register with your card details. There is no additional charge for this service. 

For further instructions on registering to bid live, please click here.


If you would like to bid by telephone please contact our team prior to the auction with your details of the lots you are interested in and your full name, address, telephone number(s) and email address. Once our team have entered your bid request you will receive an email confirmation. We will contact you during the sale and one of our team will bid live with you over the phone.

Please note that we normally offer this service for lots with an estimate of £500 or higher and all telephone bid requests must be received by close of business the day before the auction.

Auction: Design - Two Day Sale - Live Online, Tue, 19th Oct 2021



We will be offering viewing by appointment.  Thirty-minute time slots will be available from:

Fri 15 Oct, 9am - 5pm 

Sat 16 Oct, 10am - 2pm

Sun 17 Oct, 10am - 2pm 

Mon 18 Oct, 9am - 5pm 

Book Appointment

All lots are, however, extensively illustrated and carry detailed condition reports - see 'Condition report' at the foot of each lot description. 



We operate a booking system for collections - please see here to book a time slot.  You must book your appointment 24 hours in advance, to ensure your items are ready when you arrive:  


Furniture and Carpets

Furniture and Carpets will be available to collect as follows:


         Available at our Stansted Auction Rooms, Stansted Mountfitchet CM24 8GE



         Available at Unit 1 Harps Farm, Bedlars Green, Great Hallingbury CM22 7TL


Please select 'Collection/Furniture' as your appointment type when booking your collection time.  Lots not collected by 5pm Monday 1 November will incur storage charges.


All Other Items

All other items will be available to collect from the day after the sale at our Stansted Auction Rooms.  Please select ‘Collection’ as your appointment type when booking your collection time.


Book Appointment


View all lots in this sale

Please select the shipping destination;

Here at Sworders we are happy to offer a free online valuation service. Please fill out the form and press the 'Submit' button below.

To help us with your valuation please attach clear photographs of the item where possible. You can submit up to 5.

Approximate dimensions are also useful. Expect to hear from the appropriate valuer as soon as possible.


Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.