PHSNE recently received the following inquiry: “I have two Edward Sheriff Curtis prints (1998) that were sold through the auspices of PHSNE with a note indicating the original sale signed by Jack Naylor. A Piegan Chief and An Acoma Woman are the titles of the works. I am trying to obtain as much information as possible to assist my client in selling the prints. Our primary interest is in how many prints were made from the plates. I am hoping you have the records from the sales.” She dates the Curtis prints as 1998, which is probably the date of the sale since Curtis was a 19th – early 20th photographer who died in the 1950’s, but could also be the date the plate was
One PHSNE member “recalls a story that Jack Naylor was asked to go to a Boston printing company to look at some Curtis plates that were going to be sold for scrap. Jack bought them and saved them from being melted. I never knew that Jack had made prints from the plates, which appears to have happened from the inquiry. They may, this being Jack and all, be actual vintage Curtis prints that he had laying around!
Curtis prints are not all that uncommon. If these are copies of Jack’s plates and not vintage plates pulled by Curtis himself, the prints would not have been authorized by any Curtis group/trust for QC; therefore I don’t think these prints would be all that valuable.”
A 1998 Journal article (#155, Issue #2, p. 68) notes the sale of Curtis prints that may be relevant to this inquiry. It states, “Curtis photographs are very much in demand, at ever-increasing prices. As a special 25th anniversary offer to benefit PHSNE, a selection of large size prints made from original turn-of-the-century glass plates will soon be available at 30% of their normal price. The 16 x 20 inch black and white prints are on fiber paper, archivally processed and ready for framing.
The offer is made possible by the donated services of Color Services, Inc. of Needham, MA, and the principals, PHSNE members Marc Eliot, Janet and John Ganson, and by the Naylor Museum, owner of the original plates.”
Does any reader have further information about the origin of these prints or Jack Naylor’s involvement with them? Responses sent to email@example.com will be relayed to the inquirer.
Numerous inquiries arrive at firstname.lastname@example.org each week. Most concern donations of equipment, but if you are seeking photographic information from snap shots readers, we will do our best to print your request and get your questions answered.
What the heck…
Are Those Even Cameras?!
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