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Original 1850s Native American Indian Print

Indian and Dog Survey Majesty of Franklin Valley From Mountain Top

Its not in color, its not a lithograph and it was not published in the 1850s like all the rest, but this steel engraving by Friedrich Wilhelm von Egloffstein is such a romantic vision of an Indian in the wild that it had to go first. This engraving was published in Vol. XI of the "Reports of Explorations and Survey to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean."

In "Prints of the West: Library of Congress Classics" by Ron Tyler (Golden, CO, 1994) the author says,

Perhaps the best landscapist of all the expeditionary artists was Egloffstein, who accompanied Beckwith on the completion of Gunnison's survey of the thirty - eighth parallel...His visa Franklin Valley is one of the most Romantic images in the entire work, with the jagged peaks of the Humboldt chain in the foreground and the vast and untouched terrain of the valley below. An Indian reclines on a rock in the left foreground, bow and arrow in hand and dog lying nearby, an unmistakable reference to an allegorical god of nature overseeing his domain. But the expression that the warrior wears is also recognizable: he is either completely lost in a Romantic and introspective daydream, or he is depressed by the change this is overwhelming his country.

Here a close-up of the Indian and his dog or coyote.

One web site giving the history of the Central Pacific Railroad gives a full explanation of this print at this web location:

Valley of Franklin River and Franklin Lake
May 24th at 10am, from a spur of the Humboldt Mts (now called Ruby Mts)
Antelope Bute at left background. Franklin River and Lake in the middle-ground. There is a coyote and Native American in the left foreground.

Print Type: Single-sided Steel Engraving printed on heavy paper. A print produced by hand carving the lines of the image into a metal plate (steel, or copper that is later steel plated) with a tool called a burin. The valleys produced by the carving are then filled with ink, and a dampened sheet of paper is pressed onto the metal plate. The ink is transferred to the paper, producing the print. This type of engraving was introduced in the 15th century and is a form of intaglio printing.
Print Date: 1861.
Print Title: Franklin Valley.
Artist: Friedrich Wilhelm von Egloffstein (1824-1885/1898). Topographical draftsman who was born in Prussia. Egloffstein served as artist and topographer to several of the exploring expeditions of the territory west of the Mississippi River. He served with the 103rd Regiment, New York Volunteers during the Civil War, attaining the rank of Brigadier General. Egloffstein also was known for developing the first commercial half-tone process of engraving in the United States which he described in a book published in 1857. (For more information see: Hanson, David A. (1993) Baron Frederick Wilhelm von Egloffstein: Inventor of the First Commercial Halftone Process in America. Printing History, 15, No. 1, 12-24.) Prepared by C. Schumann from F.W. Egloffstein.
Engraver: Selmar Siebert's Engraving and Printing Establishment, Washington, D.C..
Source: Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Made under the Direction of the Secretary of War, in 1853-56. According to Acts of Congress of March 3, 1853, May 31, 1854, and August 5, 1854. Volume XI. Washington: George W. Bowman, Printer, 1861.
Image Size: 8 7/8 x 5 7/8 inches.
Total Size including margins: 11 3/8 x 8 3/8 inches.
History: In 1853, the U.S. Congress authorized the Corps of Topographic Engineers to undertake a survey of potential rail routes between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean. This print is an illustration from the report of the survey at the 41st parallel under the leadership of Lt. Edward G. Beckwith, in the region between the Green River Valley and the Sacramento River Valley, conducted in 1854. Beckwith's survey was a continuation of the survey at the 38th and 39th parallels headed by Captain John Gunnison, which was terminated in October, 1853 after Gunnison, artist Richard Kern and others were killed in what is now Utah. The precisely detailed drawings of Egloffstein were coordinated with the maps produced.

This is how the print looks matted to a standard frame size of 11 x 14" and enclosed in a protective clear plastic bag. There is a a little soiling on the right lower margin as shown and some binding holes at the very bottom of the exposed print that can be matted out but it would cover some of the text that identifies some of the distant topographical features. The glare in the picture is the reflection off the clear plastic covering.

Price: SOLD