Featured Chief Two Guns White Calf

Discussion in 'Ephemera and Photographs' started by Roaring20s, Jun 26, 2022.

  1. Roaring20s

    Roaring20s Well-Known Member

    I'm looking at a poorly described auction of this image of Chief Two Guns White Calf. They are not calling it a photograph. That's okay, I don't get a bad feeling about it until I can't find this image facing right. I also did not find an example in gold tone. The frame size is 11"x13". The backing could be as old as the frame.

    Has anyone seen this right facing version?

    Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 7.53.19 PM.png

    This says it's a photograph by Bettmann (Otto?) ...
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  2. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

  3. Roaring20s

    Roaring20s Well-Known Member

    Auction says, no markings on it.

    The link to the left facing image says that Bettmann shot it. Otto Bettmann arrived in the US in 1935, the Chief died in 1934.

    I originally assumed it to be by T.J. Hileman, but it may not be.
  4. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    Any photo negative can be flipped. It's hard to tell if this is a photographic print or a halftone, or something else. Also, old photos online often have had their tones altered. Even some sellers on eBay sometimes change the natural tones of old photos they are selling to a more modern "black and white" look. That is bothersome to buyers like me. Anyway, don't assume that any photos you see online are being shown in their original color tones! People also sharpen photos posted online.
  5. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    I believe the "Bettmann" attribution refers to the Bettmann archive, rather than the original photographer.
    "The Bettmann Archive is a collection of 19 million photographs and images,[citation needed] some going back to the United States Civil War and including some of the best known U.S. historic images."
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  6. anundverkaufen

    anundverkaufen Bird Feeder

    Looks like an orotone, possibly an Edward Curtis photo. The frame is very much the style that was used for his orotones.
  7. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    This particular photograph seems to be relatively obscure. I would expect it to be better known and attributed if it was by Edward Curtis.
  8. Roaring20s

    Roaring20s Well-Known Member

  9. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

  10. anundverkaufen

    anundverkaufen Bird Feeder

    At $1,201. someone thought it to be an Edward Curtis. There’s an online list of confirmed batwing frames that were used but I didn’t see this one.
    komokwa likes this.
  11. Roaring20s

    Roaring20s Well-Known Member

    My maximum was $125.
    Low, but that was all for me. :smug:

    Are all Orotones printed on glass?
    If so, this had no proof of that.

    The defect is not in a bad place.

    A fine portrait nontheless.
  12. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    The proper definition of an orotone is that it is printed on glass, but the Goodwill description may have been using the term simply to mean a sepia toned image.
    Here is an interesting account of Edward Curtis' development of the process, - which he renamed "Curt-Tones":

    I have been trying to find the original photographer for the image of Two Guns, with no luck yet. I have searched collections of Curtis photos, and cannot find this image (or any of Two Guns White Calf) in his work.

    I did find this interesting article about Two Guns White Calf:

    If you scroll down to the comments, you will find several posts by Ray Djuff, who is (still, apparently) working on a biography of Two Guns. He seems quite knowledgeable about photos of the Chief, and their value. Perhaps he would recognize the image and be able to tell you more, if you are still curious. He includes his contact info in one of the posts.
  13. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    It just occurred to me that if the Goodwill photo was an actual orotone, it would explain the reversal of the image. Typically, you print emulsion to emulsion. On paper, this results in a print image that is a reverse of the negative. With an orotone, the negative was printed onto a prepared piece of glass. The image was coated with a reflective metallic coating, and then flipped over, so you see the image through the glass. This would result in an image facing in the same direction as the original negative.

    Perhaps the Goodwill photo was accurately described after all (despite my skepticism). I wouldn't want to pay over $1,000 without actually seeing it, though. Perhaps the buyer knew more than we do (or is a gambler).
    Any Jewelry, Roaring20s and Figtree3 like this.
  14. Roaring20s

    Roaring20s Well-Known Member

    I did see that article when I was searching. Thanks for posting it.

    I don't know enough about these images to be so bold. The image emulsion is logical. I did not search to compare if known Curtis images are flopped in this process.

    Onward towards the next hopeful find! ;)
    (I have found one and researching it now) :bookworm:
    2manybooks and Figtree3 like this.
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