The greatest of all published works of an explorers trip up the Missouri was John James Audubons work on the Quadrupeds of North America. Catlin was 1832, Bodmer 1833-4 and Audubon went up the Missouri in 1843.
It was the largest, most beautiful colorplate book published in America in the 19th century and to own all three would give you the triple crown of the great explorer artists of the Missouri River before the Civil War.
For the last 40 years this work has traditionally sold for 20% of what a set of Audubon birds sells for at auction. That last set of Birds sold at Sothebys in London in December for $11,400,000.
The 150 hand colored lithographed plates in this work sell individually for over $2,000,000.
A set of these spectacular books in three Imperial size volumes are coming up at my charity auction in New Orleans at Neals on June 25 and it is my suggestion that you consider making a bid. Like all of my charity auctions, I will give back 20% of the hammer price to the charity of your choice.
Let me know if you would like to see the auction catalog.