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‘Sih-Chida & Mahchsi-Karehde’, Mandan Indians, in one of the colour plates produced by Karl Bodmer.

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The work that resulted after many years of effort by both men has come to be recognised as the most important depiction of the Indian tribes in the frontier era.

It appeared in several different versions, but sold for a record $340,000 (£267,715) at Sotheby’s New York (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) on June 13 was an exceptionally rare French language issue of 1840-43, published as Voyage dans l’interieur de l’Amerique du Nord…

This issue was limited to just 30 copies, with fine hand colouring to 19 of the 48 large aquatint plates after Bodmer and to seven of the 33 smaller, vignette plates. In contemporary half dark blue morocco, the oblong folio atlas volume was accompanied by three octavo text volumes, bound to style.