William S. Soule, Extraordinary Photograph Album Containing Portraits of Southern Plains Indians, Gifted by Soule to his Sister

Leather album, 7.25 x 9.25 in., with gilt design on cover and spine, identified on ffep to "Lucia A. Smith, 59 Eleanor Street, Chelsea, Mass." The album contains 40 albumen photographs, each approx. 3.75 x 5.5 in., on 4.25 x 6.125 in. mount. Although all photographs were produced by William S. Soule, only 7 bear his Fort Sill, Indian Territory imprint on verso. Ca 1867-1873. 

A number is written on the mount below each image, which corresponds with a partial manuscript key that accompanies the album and identifies many of the subjects. The following members of the Kiowa, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa-Apache, Arapaho, and Wichita tribes and associated camp scenes are included in the album: 

Outdoor view of a Kiowa Camp; Kiowa Chiefs Kicking Bird, Big Bow, Sa-tan-ta, Big Tree, Lone Wolf, Woman's Heart, and Not Afraid; Sa-lo-so, Son of Sa-tan-ta; Tom-e-ath-to and wife; Tar-lo; Comanche Camp; Comanche Chiefs Mow-Way, Tosh-a-wah, Esa-tou-yett, and Otter Belt; Kiowa-Apache Camp; Kiowa-Apache Chiefs Pacer and Black Hawk; Arapaho Camp; Arapaho Chiefs Little Raven and Bird Chief; and a number of other braves and women. 

This album was presented as a gift by William S. Soule to his older Sister, Salucia Abbott Soule. They were the eighth and ninth children of Captain John and Mary True Soule. Held by Salucia Abbott Soule and her husband, Horatio Grey Smith, the album descended in the family and was housed at the family homestead built in 1869 by Horatio in Chelsea, Massachusetts, until 2005 when it sold at Skinner Auctioneers, September 10, 2005, Lot 304, and was acquired by noted American Indian photography collector, John W. Painter. 

Provenance:American Indian Photography Collection of John W. Painter (1929-2008)


Some images have faded a bit. Some retain deep, rich tones. Some mounts appear to have been trimmed along edges. Album underwent complete restoration and letter describing restoration work is enclosed. 

Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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