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Attractive mid-19th Century depiction of a Native Princess as an allegory for the Americas, published in France.

This fine French lithograph depicts a Native American princess, albeit in a highly idealized form with 'exotic dress'.

While allegorical depictions of America as a woman date back to the 16th-century and are not unusual, the present image seems to be influenced by the revival of the story of Pocahontas (1595-1617), the daughter of a Native American Chieftain from Virginia who married an English colonist Thomas Rolfe. She caused quite a stir when she moved to England with Rolfe.

The myths that arose around Pocahontas's story spread around the globe during the 19th-century. Many portrayed her as one who demonstrated the potential of Native Americans to be assimilated into European society. For example, the United States Capitol displays the painting by John Gadsby Chapman, The Baptism of Pocahontas, in the Rotunda (1840).

Pocahontas's story was also romanticized. Some writers preferred accounts of a love story between her and the explorer Captain John Smith. The first to publish such a story at length was John Davis in his Travels in the United States of America (1803). Perhaps the first surviving stage dramatization of the Pocahontas story was James Nelson Barker's The Indian Princess; or, La Belle Sauvage.

The present example is very unusual--the first we have ever seen.

Condition Description
Minor dampstain at top of image and some minor marginal soiling.