Edward S. Curtis Photobook Is the Top Lot Ever Sold at Swann Auction Galleries

A self-portrait by Edward S. Curtis. (Courtesy curtis.library.northwestern.edu)

At Thursday’s Fine Photographs & Photobooks sale at Swann Galleries, Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian, a set complete with 20 text volumes and 20 folios, sold for $1.44 million. It’s the most money brought in by any single lot in the auction house’s 70-year history.

In a statement, Daile Kaplan, Swann vice president and director of photographs and photobooks, said, “We were very pleased to have sold this iconic work by a major 20th century artist.  The price reflects the rarity and beauty of this American masterpiece and the interest in photobooks as an artform.”