By Appt. Alamo, CA 94507 , United States Call Seller 925.272.8170


Shar-I-Tar-Ish, A Pawnee Chief: Original Hand-colored McKenney & Hall Lithograph

$ 775
  • Description
    This is an original 19th century 1st edition octavo hand-colored McKenney and Hall lithograph of a Native American entitled " Shar-I-Tar-Ish, A Pawnee Chief", lithographed by J. T. Bowen after a painting by Charles Bird King and published by Rice and Hart in Philadelphia in 1848. Shar-I-Tar-Ish's portrait has a reddish hue from the feathers in his headdress and amulet chain, with a brownish taupe color of the upper trim of his costume. He is wearing his presidential peace medal. He has a very serious and thoughtful expression.

    This original McKenney and Hall hand-colored lithograph is printed on a sheet measuring 10.38" high and 7" wide. There are faint smudges in the margins. The print is otherwise in very good condition. The original descriptive text pages, 33-34, from McKenney and Hall's 19th century publication are included.

    A famous Pawnee chief, Shar-I-Tar-Ish led his people during the early part of the 19th century. He was descended from a line of chiefs. Shar-i-tar-ish was a young man when he went to Washington in 1822 at the invitation of President James Monroe, when his older brother, Tarecawawaho, refused. While in Washington his portrait was painted by Charles Bird King. Shar-I-Tar-Is was six feet tall, and had a fine, graceful and very imposing, almost regal appearance. Soon after his return he became head chief, succeeding his older brother, Tarecawawaho, who died young. Shar-I-Tar-Ish himself also died young, at around aged thirty. Historically, the Pawnee lived in Nebraska and Kansas. They lived in villages of earth lodges with adjacent farmlands near the Loup, Republican, and South Platte rivers

    Col. Thomas J. McKenney was Superintendant of The Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1816 until 1830. He was one of a very few government officials to defend American Indian interests and attempt to preserve their culture. He travelled to Indian lands meeting the Native American leaders. He brought with him an accomplished artist, James Otto Lewis, who sketched those willing to participate. A large number of the most influential Indian chiefs and warriors were later invited to come to Washington in 1821 to meet President Monroe. McKenney commissioned the prominent portrait painter Charles Bird King, who had a studio in the capital, to paint these native American leaders, who chose the costumes they wished to wear for the sitting. The magnificent resultant paintings were displayed in the War Department until 1858, and were then moved to the Smithsonian Institute. When Andrew Jackson dismissed McKenney in 1830, he gave him permission to have the King portraits as well as some by other artists, including George Catlin and James Otto Lewis, copied and made into lithographs, in both folio and octavo sizes. McKenney partnered with James C. Hall, a Cincinnati judge and novelist to publish the lithographs and the text written by Hall. The work was extremely expensive to create and nearly bankrupted McKenney, as well as the two printing firms who invested in its publication. The resultant work gained importance when Catlin's paintings were destroyed in a warehouse fire and Charles Bird King's and James Otto Lewis’ portraits were destroyed in the great Smithsonian Museum fire of 1865. The McKenney and Hall portraits remain the most complete and colorful record of these pre-Civil War Native American leaders.

    The folio and smaller octavo sized hand painted lithographs remain prized by collectors and institutions, many of which are held by major museums and collections, including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institute.
  • More Information
    Documentation: Documented elsewhere (similar item)
    Period: 19th Century
    Condition: Good.
    Creation Date: 1870
    Styles / Movements: Traditional
    Incollect Reference #: 614615
  • Dimensions
    W. 7 in; H. 10 in;
    W. 17.78 cm; H. 25.4 cm;
Message from Seller:

Timeless Intaglio is an online gallery of rare and collectable antiquarian prints, maps and books. Although we specialize in all forms of vintage printed works on paper, the majority were created with the intaglio method of transferring ink from a plate, usually copper, to paper with a technique utilizing pressure generated by a press. Email us directly:

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