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AUCTION 19

49. HALEY, J. Evetts & Erwin E[vans] Smith. Life on the Texas Range: Photographs by Erwin E. Smith. Austin: University of Texas Press, [1952]. 112 pp., frontispiece portrait of Smith, 80 photographic illustrations (some sepia tone) by Smith. 4to, original tan pictorial buckram with illustration of a cowboy on upper cover and spine lettering in brown, endpapers with sepia tone photos. Very fine in publisher’s slipcase with tipped-on photograph. Signed by Haley.

     First edition. Adams, Herd 966. Campbell, pp. 107, 132. Dobie, p. 119. Dobie & Dykes, 44 & 44 #69. Dykes, Collecting Range Life Literature, p. 15. Dykes, Western High Spots, p. 60 (“High Spots of Western Illustrating” #120): “It is a collector’s item all the way. As my #120 it gets the only High, High Spot rating among the books illustrated with photographs”; p. 103 (“The Texas Ranch Today”). Robinson, Haley (1967) 110: “Erwin Smith’s early ambition and training to be a sculptor were overcome by the irresistible lure of cowboy life on the ranches and ranges of West Texas. Patience and devotion, melded with his artistic bent and technical brilliance, produced the most superb of all the fine photographers who drew into focus the transient panorama of the cow country. ‘I don’t mean,’ wrote Tom Lea, ‘that he made just the best photographs I ever saw on the subject. I mean the best pictures. That includes paintings, drawings, prints.’ Regarded by many as the top pictorial range book”. Robinson, Haley (1978) 22 (quoting William Curry Holden): “Evetts Haley’s splendid tribute...will perpetuate Erwin Smith’s memory as an honest and skillful chronicler of life on the cattle range. Both the text and the photographic captions are rendered in pungent Haleyan style, which is characterized by a poetic prose strongly flavored with smoke from the branding fires.”

     Reese, Six Score 55:  “[Smith’s (1886-1947)] pictures taken in the early part of this century, mainly on the LS and JA ranches, are to the southern cowboy what L. A. Huffman’s are to the northern. Smith’s goal was to give an accurate record of cowboy life through his photographs, and he succeeded admirably. Haley has provided commentary for the plates.” (Handbook of Texas Online: Erwin Evans Smith). ($100-300)

Auction 19 Short Title List | Auction 19 Prices Realized

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