2018 Coeur d’Alene Art Auction / Lot 152179 / 297  •  View Catalog  •   • 

Alfred Jacob Miller (1810 – 1874)
The Thirsty Trapper (1850)
oil on canvas
24 × 20 inches
signed and dated lower right

The Thirsty Trapper is recorded in the Alfred Jacob Miller Catalogue Raisonné as number 459B.

The artist wrote, “One of the greatest privations to be combated on the prairies is the want of water. The Trapper leaves his camp in the morning, and after traveling all day under a hot and oppressive sun, his tongue parched and swollen, and almost cleaving to the roof of his mouth;–you may fancy, under such circumstances with what delight he hails at a distance, the life-giving stream.

“The subject of the sketch is an Indian girl supplying an exhausted Trapper with a draught of water, which she has brought in a Buffalo horn.

“To fully appreciate the boon, one must absolutely go through the ordeal, by being subjected to the privation,–it is impossible otherwise.”

American Art, Union, NY 1851
Smith Van Buren 1852
Sotheby Parke Bernet 1980
Jonathan (Jack) Westervelt-Warner, Tuscaloosa, AL
Christies, New York, NY (Private Sale) 2016
Private Collection, New York, NY

American Art, Union, NY, Dec 15-17, 1852
Sotheby Parke Bernet, October 11-16, 1980
Westervelt-Warner Museum of American Art, Tuscaloosa, AL

Lisa Strong, The Art of Alfred Jacob Miller (Fort Worth, TX: Amon Carter Museum, 2008), pp 135-36, illustrated


Alfred Jacob Miller

1810 – 1874

The Thirsty Trapper (1850)
oil on canvas
24 × 20 inches
signed and dated lower right
Sold at Auction: $1,715,000
Condition ReportSurface condition is very good. Faint craquelure throughout. Painting has been lined. Several spots of inpainting in sky. Several spots of inpainting in lower-left corner, and center-left, near edges of frame. Several specks of inpainting near trappers and Indian.

Important Notice: Statements of condition are provided as a service to potential bidders; such statements are educated opinions and should not be regarded as facts. The Coeur d’Alene Art Auction has no responsibility for any errors or omissions.