In North America the west of the United States is still largely unexplored. Wied-Neuwied wants to visit the tribes of the border to compare them to the Brazilian natives. Accompanied by the young Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, he travels along the Missouri River in a 4400 km long journey in the 1833 spring and spends the following winter in Dakota.
Wied-Neuwied and Bodmer devote the next years to the preparation of the publication of their North American works in German, French and English. From 1839 to 1841 Bodmer now living in Paris prepares 81 illustrations divided into 48 large format tableaus and 33 vignettes which are printed in aquatint by Bougeard on 61 x 46 cm sheets.
The publication in fascicles of Reise in das innere Nord-America in den Jahren 1832 bis 1834 is carried out from 1839 to 1841. The publication by Arthus Bertrand in Paris of the Voyage dans l'intérieur de l'Amérique du Nord effectué pendant les années 1832, 1833 et 1834 extends from 1840 to 1843.
That French version is made up of three volumes of texts and an atlas volume containing the 81 aquatints in oblong folio. 206 copies are made. Only 6 examples have all their images hand-colored. For 30 examples the coloring is limited to the plates that provide the best ethnographic content. The rest of the publication is left in black and white.
On June 13 in New York, Sotheby's sells a copy of the Voyage, lot 75 estimated $ 300K. Its atlas is complete in the format used by Bougeard. 19 tableaus and 7 vignettes are colored without alteration from the original hand-coloring.
A fully colored atlas pre-dating the French volumes was sold for $ 300K including premium by Doyle on November 3, 1999. Most plates carry Bodmer's blind stamp and their titles are trilingual.
SOLD for $ 420K including premium