On October 4, 2012, Swann Galleries sold the complete set of Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian for $1.44 million, breaking the record for the highest prices item ever sold at the the Swann auction house for works on paper.
The North American Indian, a complete set of 20 text volumes and 20 folios, was Curtis's magnum opus. Daile Kaplan, Swann Vice President and Director of Photographs & Photobooks, said, "We were very pleased to have sold this iconic work by a major 20th century artist. The price reflects the rarity and beauty of this American masterpiece and the interest in photobooks as an artform."
Prices for other early photographs were also strong. A multi-panel panorama image of lower Manhattan from 1876, showing a portion of the Brooklyn Bridge still under construction, brought $96,000 and an album of cyanotypes of Colorado sold for $56,000.