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Color histograms are a central feature in many image retrieval systems. Indeed they are part of the MPEG-7 standard. But histograms suffer from the "curse of dimensionality " in which the number of bins increases exponentially with the number of dimensions. There is therefore an imperative for methods for simplifying histograms. This paper presents a new method for simplifying histograms based on a cascade of increasing-scale graph morphology filters. The system we choose preserves scale space causality and so preserves the modes of the histogram. The method is quick to compute so is therefore a practically useful feature. We present results using the MPEG-7 Common Color Dataset that show that these new compressed features have a retrieval performance that is equivalent to full histograms.