Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high (Modeled in 1913.)

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 11
Cyrus Edwin Dallin
Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high

Sold for US$ 100,312 inc. premium

Western Art

26 Feb 2021, 13:00 PST

Los Angeles

Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944)
Appeal to the Great Spirit
inscribed '© C.E. Dallin 1913' (on the base) and inscribed 'GORHAM Co. Founders QPN' and stamped 'GAC' and '12' (along the base)
bronze with brown patina
22in high
Modeled in 1913.


  • Provenance
    The collection of Gates White and Elizabeth McGarrah, New York, New York, prior to 1940; by descent in the family to the present owner.

    E. Wilbur Pomeroy, "Cyrus E. Dallin and the North American Indian: Four Statues Which Express the Fate of a Dying Race," Arts and Decoration, February 1914, p. 153, another example illustrated.
    R.G. Francis, Cyrus E. Dallin: Let Justice Be Done, Springville, Utah, 1928, pp. 33, 43-50, 52, another example illustrated.
    P.J. Broder, Bronzes of the American West, New York, 1973, pp. 94, 98, pl. 96, another example illustrated.
    Masterworks of American Sculpture: Selections from Members of the National Sculpture Society 1875-1999, Fleischer Museum, Scottsdale, Arizona, pp. 20-21, another example illustrated.
    K. Ahrens, Cyrus E. Dallin: His Small Bronzes and Plasters, Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1995, no. 10, p. 51, 106, another example illustrated.
    D.B. Dearinger, Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design, New York, 2004, p. 143, another example listed.

    Cyrus Dallin was a politically active and vocal supporter of the rights of Native Americans. His activism was manifest in his respectful and authentic depictions of Indian figures and portraits, as well as in his work to reform government policies that suppressed Native rights, and in his participation on the Massachusetts state and national level in the creation of advocacy groups including what would ultimately become the Association of American Indian Affairs. 1

    Dallin devoted his artistic practice to creating heroic depictions of Native American subjects, real and not idealized and from their point of view, that underscore "the deceitful and inhumane treatment of the Indians by the United States government. 2 As a child, Dallin had close interactions with Ute Indians who lived near and traded with his family's rural Mormon settlement of Springville, Utah. The friendships he created and his first-hand experience with the Ute peoples' sense of honor and community would shape the artist's political and social views of Native Americans for his entire life. In fact, Dallin's interest in sculpture derived from playing games and creating small animal models out of clay with local Indian boys. 3

    In the late 1880s, Dallin conceived of an ambitious series of four major life size equestrian protest sculptures that would visually illustrate the story of the problematic relationship between the Native American peoples and the white man. The first, The Signal of Peace, cast in Paris in 1890, tells the story of a Sioux chief ready to offer friendship and goodwill. The Medicine Man, cast in 1899, depicts the tribal prophet and protector lifting his arm in a gesture of warning. In The Protest, cast in 1904, the enemy is clear, and the Indian raises a clenched fist against his foe. Finally, in Appeal to the Great Spirit, cast in 1907, the Sioux Chief throws his head back and extends his arms upwards in a raw and emotional plea for divine intervention.

    The first life size cast of Appeal to the Great Spirit won the gold medal at the Paris Salon of 1909. That monumental bronze was brought to the United States and is displayed in front of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. After transferring ownership to the museum in 1912, Dallin retained the right to make reproductions that would not exceed three feet in height. The copyright for this model was granted in 1913, and Dallin successfully produced an edition of 107 with the Gorham Bronze Company in New Jersey, of which the present work is number 12. Each cast is marked with the Gorham foundry code 'QPN'. This same sized model is in many important institutional collections including the White House and the State Department, and was displayed in the Oval Office during the presidency of Bill Clinton.

    Appeal to the Great Spirit was in the collection of the international financier Gates White McGarrah (1863-1940), and has remained in the family for four generations to the present owner. Time Magazine described McGarrah as a 'tycoon' in 1930, but he had humble origins. Unable to afford high school, he started his career as an office boy in a local bank and worked his way up to become President of the Mechanics National Bank in 1902. When it merged with Chase National Bank, in 1926, he became Chase's Chairman. McGarrah was appointed the Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve in 1927, and in 1929 became the founding President of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. McGarrah's friends and associates were the giants of the Gilded Age - Rockefellers, Morgans, Prossers and Mellons. A grandson remembered it as being in McGarrah's office. An appraisal of his estate lists the sculpture at his and Elizabeth McGarrah's home on Park Avenue, New York in 1940.

    1 H. Leavell, "New Research Sheds Light on Cyrus Dallin's Activism for Native Rights", The Scout: Cyrus Dallin Art Museum Newsletter, July/August 2018, p. 1.
    2 P.J. Broder, Bronzes of the American West, New York, 1973, p. 92.
    3 Ibid, p. 93.
Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high (Modeled in 1913.)
Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high (Modeled in 1913.)
Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high (Modeled in 1913.)
Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high (Modeled in 1913.)
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations


If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armour, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $25,000 of the hammer price;
26% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $25,000 up to and including $1,000,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $1,000,000 up to and including $6,000,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $6,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

If you have requested a shipping quote, we will send this to you via email within 5 business days of the auction ending.

Please note our shipping quotes are bespoke and require special care and handling from our team and shippers. Shipping will be booked after payment is received. Please allow 7-14 business days from the time of booking for packing and dispatch, depending on your chosen shipping method. If your purchase is time sensitive, or you wish to explore other options, please see our list of alternative third party shippers in New York and Los Angeles who may be able to assist you.

If you have any questions, please contact our Client Services team.