Lot 138
  • 138

* Charles Bird King 1785-1862

bidding is closed


  • Charles Bird King
  • Wai-Kee-Chai, Sanky Chief, Crouching Eagle
  • inscribed Wai-Kee Chai, Sanky Chief/ Croushing [sic] Eagle/ by C.B. King on the reverse
  • oil on panel


James Graham & Sons, New York
Estate of Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge (sold: Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, October 31, 1975, lot 109, illustrated in color [as Wakechai (Crouching Eagle), A Sauk Chief)]
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York (acquired at the above sale)
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1978


New York, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, The American Experience, 1976, no. 20, illustrated


cf. Thomas E. McKenney and James B. Hall, The Indian Tribes of North America, vol. II, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1933, p. 411
cf. Herman J. Viola, The Indian Legacy of Charles Bird King, Washington, D.C., 1976, p. 142, illustration in color of another example p. 94 (as Wakechai)
Andrew F. Cosentino, The Paintings of Charles Bird King (1785-1862), Washington, D.C., 1978, no. 473, p. 185, illustrated (as Wakechai)

Catalogue Note

Wai-Kee-Chai was an influential figure, respected by his people for his wise and calm judgment and popular for his peacable approach.  He was a member of the Sauk and Fox delegation in Washington in 1824 and a signer of the treaty of August 24, 1824.  The artist painted his portrait during this visit.

This painting is one of two known versions of the portrait which the artist originally painted for the Indian Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C..  The original was lost in the fire of 1865.