Thursday, September 28, 2017

Return of the Currier & Ives Buffalo

A few years ago, we posted a blog about how we had discovered the source of some very strange buffalo which appeared in the classic Currier & Ives print, "The Rocky Mountains." Well I just realized that the same buffalo turned up again!

Conningham lists five different versions of the subject of "Noah's Ark" done by Nathaniel Currier or Currier & Ives. Though all are undated, this was likely an early subject for Nathaniel and I would imagine the firm kept some of these prints in stock for most of their existence.

Sometime between 1874 and 1878 (based on the address of the firm), they issued what may have been their last version.

This had a wide variety of animals,

including some very strange looking buffaloes.

This is essentially the same image as appeared in "The Rocky Mountains," which as explained in the earlier blog was based on an illustration in a French natural history from about four decades earlier. This odd looking buffalo first appeared in the print from 1872-74 and obviously the firm like the image, so they reused in a couple years later for a new version of "Noah's Ark." I wonder if it was ever used again?

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