The Acquisitions Table: Life on the Prairie

After Arthur F. Tait. Life on the Prairie. The Trappers’ Defence [sic]. “Fire Fight Fire.” New York: Currier & Ives, 1862.

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Large folio lithographs by Currier & Ives represent the pinnacle of the firm’s production and were the most costly images that they issued. This image of western trappers setting fire to the prairie to act as a back stop for a larger blaze was published in 1862, at the same time that the nation was battling through the Civil War. The subject matter of tough, independent frontiersman working together to solve a problem must have been exotic and appealing to Currier & Ives’s clientele in eastern cities. This print was sold as one of a pair (the other depicts a buffalo hunt) and was priced at $3.00 uncolored and $5.00 hand-colored with watercolor.

2 thoughts on “The Acquisitions Table: Life on the Prairie

  1. Donna Lewis

    I am wondering how much this photo is worth today. Mine is in a very fancy old frame, it is in very good condition. Please contact me, very curious. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Kayla Haveles

      As a research library, the AAS is unable to provide valuations on historic prints. You might wish to contact a dealer of American prints such as the Old Print Shop in New York, or the Philadelphia Print Shop. They should be able to give you an estimate on your print.

      Reply

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