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KIVA STAIRS SAN ILDEFONSO Copper Plate & Envelope

Edward Sheriff Curtis Sale History

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KIVA STAIRS SAN ILDEFONSO Copper Plate & Envelope
Item Details
Description
1. EDWARD S. CURTIS. Plate 584 The Kiva Stairs - San Ildefonso, 1925. 15.5x11.4" image on 17.7x13.4" copper plate. Plate date 1926. From Portfolio 17, Pueblo Indians, of The North American Indian. Engraved on plate recto: Plate 584/ The Kiva Stairs - San Ildefonso /From Copyright Photograph 1925 by E.S. Curtis/Photogravure Suffolk Eng. Co. Cambridge, Mass.

2. EDWARD S. CURTIS. The Kiva Stairs - San Ildefonso, 1925. 15.5x11.4" Holland Van Gelder photogravure attached to envelope remnants. Envelope date 1926. From Portfolio 17, Pueblo Indians, of The North American Indian. Inscribed in ink on print recto: Plate 584 / The Kiva Stairs - San Ildefonso / From Copyright Photograph 1925 by E.S. Curtis / Photogravure Suffolk Eng Co. Cambridge Mass.

Curtis wrote about this: "Pueblo ceremonial chambers are known as kivas (the Hopi name) or estufas (the name applied to them by the Spaniards under the misapprehension that they were sudatories). They are circular or rectangular, wholly, or partly subterranean, or simply cells in the communal structure that forms a pueblo. The character of the underlying soil or rock was probably the factor that determined the degree to which a kiva was made subterranean. The one here illustrated is mostly underground, and has a walled stair leading to the roof, which is surrounded by a parapet. Similar structures have been found in excavating ruined pueblos."

To make the photogravure prints from the negative, Curtis created a glass positive that he would edit on and then, working with the great photogravure printing companies in Boston, John Andrew & Son that became Suffolk Engraving Company, they made over 2200 copper plates from which the photogravures were to be printed. These plates were then steel faced for small printing runs then refaced, preserving the original image that was etched into the copper plate. Lot 5010 has the description of the process. Aesthetically they are brilliant shiny copper, almost gold-like, aesthetic objects on which the image glows; they have sold for as much as $700,000. As opposed to the edition of approximately 300 photogravures that were made from each plate and open edition chemical prints Curtis made in his studios, these are unique photographic objects.

Each plate was stored in an envelope that had a Holland Van Gelder photogravure attached to it, as well as the written title information that was to be engraved into the plates and printed on the prints. They also had notes pointing out flaws that needed to be corrected on the copper plates themselves before the final prints were pulled. There are 29 envelope plate photogravures offered in various lots in this auction. The envelopes themselves only partially survived; they are tattered and torn.
Condition
1. Copper Plate: Very good. Minor scratches, tarnish, dents, abrasions small dark spots, and ink residue throughout plate surface

2. Envelope in fair to poor condition, torn upper right corner, tears, abrasions, ink stains, spots and tattered.
Buyer's Premium
  • 28% up to $100,000.00
  • 20% up to $1,000,000.00
  • 18% above $1,000,000.00

KIVA STAIRS SAN ILDEFONSO Copper Plate & Envelope

Estimate $15,000 - $25,000
Dec 01, 2021
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5108: KIVA STAIRS SAN ILDEFONSO Copper Plate & Envelope

Lot Passed
0 Bids
Est. $15,000 - $25,000Starting Price $9,000
EDWARD S. CURTIS 100 Copper Plates of Indians
Dec 01, 2021 12:00 PM EST
Buyer's Premium 28%

Lot 5108 Details

Description
...
1. EDWARD S. CURTIS. Plate 584 The Kiva Stairs - San Ildefonso, 1925. 15.5x11.4" image on 17.7x13.4" copper plate. Plate date 1926. From Portfolio 17, Pueblo Indians, of The North American Indian. Engraved on plate recto: Plate 584/ The Kiva Stairs - San Ildefonso /From Copyright Photograph 1925 by E.S. Curtis/Photogravure Suffolk Eng. Co. Cambridge, Mass.

2. EDWARD S. CURTIS. The Kiva Stairs - San Ildefonso, 1925. 15.5x11.4" Holland Van Gelder photogravure attached to envelope remnants. Envelope date 1926. From Portfolio 17, Pueblo Indians, of The North American Indian. Inscribed in ink on print recto: Plate 584 / The Kiva Stairs - San Ildefonso / From Copyright Photograph 1925 by E.S. Curtis / Photogravure Suffolk Eng Co. Cambridge Mass.

Curtis wrote about this: "Pueblo ceremonial chambers are known as kivas (the Hopi name) or estufas (the name applied to them by the Spaniards under the misapprehension that they were sudatories). They are circular or rectangular, wholly, or partly subterranean, or simply cells in the communal structure that forms a pueblo. The character of the underlying soil or rock was probably the factor that determined the degree to which a kiva was made subterranean. The one here illustrated is mostly underground, and has a walled stair leading to the roof, which is surrounded by a parapet. Similar structures have been found in excavating ruined pueblos."

To make the photogravure prints from the negative, Curtis created a glass positive that he would edit on and then, working with the great photogravure printing companies in Boston, John Andrew & Son that became Suffolk Engraving Company, they made over 2200 copper plates from which the photogravures were to be printed. These plates were then steel faced for small printing runs then refaced, preserving the original image that was etched into the copper plate. Lot 5010 has the description of the process. Aesthetically they are brilliant shiny copper, almost gold-like, aesthetic objects on which the image glows; they have sold for as much as $700,000. As opposed to the edition of approximately 300 photogravures that were made from each plate and open edition chemical prints Curtis made in his studios, these are unique photographic objects.

Each plate was stored in an envelope that had a Holland Van Gelder photogravure attached to it, as well as the written title information that was to be engraved into the plates and printed on the prints. They also had notes pointing out flaws that needed to be corrected on the copper plates themselves before the final prints were pulled. There are 29 envelope plate photogravures offered in various lots in this auction. The envelopes themselves only partially survived; they are tattered and torn.
Condition
...
1. Copper Plate: Very good. Minor scratches, tarnish, dents, abrasions small dark spots, and ink residue throughout plate surface<br/><br>2. Envelope in fair to poor condition, torn upper right corner, tears, abrasions, ink stains, spots and tattered.

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