Catalog Archive
Auction 181, Lot 219

"The Lava Beds, Lake Tule, California, the Scene of the Modoc Indian War. From a Sketch by Our Special Artist",

Subject: Northern California, Modoc War

Period: 1873 (published)

Publication: The Illustrated London News

Color: Hand Color

19.2 x 12.1 inches
48.8 x 30.7 cm

This fascinating Modoc War engraving depicts fighting amid the desolate, otherworldly landscape of the lava beds near Lake Tule. It was published in the June 7, 1873 edition of The Illustrated London News, only a few days after the war's end. Text on verso describes the resolution of the war. The Modoc War was the only major Indian War fought in California, and the only one in which a general (Canby) of the regular Army was killed (Custer was not a general at the time of his death). The Modoc warriors, never more than 60, used the difficult terrain of the lava beds to hold off the U.S. troops numbering 400 to 530 for most of a year until battles in May, 1873 led to the capture and execution of Captain Jack. For a brief history, click here.


Condition: B+

There are a few short splits along the centerfold that have been closed on verso with archival materials.

Estimate: $120 - $150

Sold for: $75

Closed on 2/10/2021