Published: August 2, 2022
DALLAS — James Otto Lewis’ The Aboriginal Port Folio, one of only three known copies complete with a cover page, drew a winning bid of $100,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books Signature® Auction July 27-28. A legendary publication, complete here with the rare title page, all three “Advertisement” leaves, and all 80 hand colored plates, it remains as one of only approximately six known “complete” copies held in institutions (though most lack the title page present in this copy) and one of only three known complete copies to be offered for auction in the past 40 years. The portfolio was initially issued in ten parts, with each part containing eight plates. Despite the extensive nature of the project, the first nine parts were completed quickly and issued monthly between May 1835 and January 1836. This rush likely was due to the imminent release of McKenney and Hall’s History of the Indian Tribes of North America in 1836, which was anticipated to affect subscriber numbers; a well-founded fear as the tenth part was not issued until two years later in 1838 and with substantially dwindled numbers. Price quoted with buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house, a more extensive review of the sale to follow in a later issue.
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