Just a quick recap of the Native American images I have in my collection.
There’s one more I’ll have to scan, but it is NOT an original image, rather a halftone reproduction pasted onto a vintage cabinet card stock. The image is of two southwest Indians of indeterminate tribal origin and quite honestly of indeterminate gender. It MAY be a vintage print, but it most certainly is not an original photograph. It’s a good illustration of the risks and pitfalls of antiques hunting – I found it in a little antiques mall in Delaware. The space was, while not poorly lit, definitely on the dim side. Enough so that I did not recognize the halftone dots. I paid $40 for the image, thinking at the time I was getting a great deal. I discovered the halftoning when I went to scan the image to email it to the National Museum of the American Indian to see if they could identify it better for me. When I zoomed in on the hi-res scan, the halftone dots popped off the screen! I was dismayed to discover this – I probably paid about $35 too much for it, given the fact it was a reproduction, but in the long run, I came out ahead. At the same time I bought it, I also bought another CDV of Lydia Thompson, a Victorian era actress, showing her in costume from a role she played in 1872. That one? I want to say I paid $5, but it was definitely less than $10. In the process of researching who she was I found a similar CDV of the same image on ebay, selling for $100. The object lesson here? Take a loupe with you when you go photo hunting. It could make the difference between paying original art prices for a poster-quality reproduction, or getting a good deal on an original image. It’s a variation on the old carpenters’ adage: Examine twice, pay once.