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    Alfred Jacob Miller (American, 1810-1874)
    Crow Indian on the Lookout (Indian on White Horse)
    Oil on canvas
    12 x 10 inches (30.5 x 25.4 cm)
    Inscribed indistinctly lower right: Pickering

    Norman James, Catonsville, Maryland, circa 1890;
    Private collection, Maryland, by descent.

    Equitable Appraisal Company, Inc., "Appraised Inventory of Building Construction & Household Furnishings Belonging to Norman James," New York, December 19, 1925, p. 215, as Indian on White Horse.

    In Alfred Jacob Miller, Artist as Explorer, the acclaimed Miller scholar Ron Tyler writes:

    "The Crows were Siouan tribe of Indians, who at the time of Miller's expedition, lived in the Rocky Mountains. They were a wandering tribe of hunters with a reputation for being skilled horsemen, proud and superstitious of character. Miller evidently had occasion to observe the Crows a good deal on his trip because they were one of the tribes he portrayed frequently.

    "Among the Indian tribes, it was common practice for protection to station a vigilant member of the tribe high on the bluffs to look for game, emigrant trains and approaching enemies. This task required endurance, patience, and excellent judgement on the part of the individual selected.

    "Miller wrote of the lookout:

    'From the bluffs, as from an observatory, the vigilant Indian overlooks the prairie far and near. His cunning eye sweeps the horizon in all directions and from long practice he discerns an object (like the sailor on the ocean) much sooner than ordinary observer.

    'He marks in what direction game is to be had, the approach of an enemy or emigrant train (all being fish that comes [sic] to his net). He balances the chances of the latter, and uses his discretion whether to send out his warriors or not, for he will not give battle without the odds are greatly in his favor. In collision he asks no quarter, nor expects any, but has an intense admiration that "to the victor belongs the spoils" and carries it out to the last letter.'" (R. Tyler, Alfred Jacob Miller, Artist as Explorer, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1999, p. 97)

    Crow Indian on the Lookout is part of a group of at least four works that are recorded. Miller kept one in his collection until his death. The inscription of "Pickering" on the lower right is not unusual as Crow Indian on the Lookout, 12 x 10 inches, as described in the related works, was inscribed "CDS" on the lower left. It is speculated that the work, at some point prior to Norman James' owning it, was owned by a member of the Pickering family, who
    had commissioned Miller to make a portrait of Mrs. Pickering. Norman James was a well-known collector. While some of his works were sold in an auction before his death, the Millers passed down through the family. In fact, this work and several others are still retained by family members.

    More information about Alfred Jacob Miller, also known as Miller, Alfred Jacob, .

    Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000.

    Condition Report*: Glue lined canvas. Under UV exam, a thick uneven varnish makes inpaint difficult to discern but there does appear to be a few dots and dashes of inpaint in the sky, and a 1 x 1/4 inch vertical area of inpaint along the extreme left edge in the lower left quadrant. 2 inch scratch right of the horse. scattered craquelure throughout. Discolored varnish.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

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    This lot is in: 1 - Signature® Floor Session (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 67001-67206) - 10:00 AM Central Time, Friday, November 5, 2021.
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