AUDUBON’S THE BIRDS OF AMERICA ACHIEVES $7.9 MILLION AT CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK
New York — On 20 January 2012, Christie's sold John James Audubon’s The Birds of America, one of the most sought-after books of ornithological art ever created, for $7,922,500/£5,149,625/€6,100,325 to a private American collector. The Duke of Portland set, 435 lushly hand-colored engravings in a four-volume set of double-elephant folios over 3 feet in height, was acquired by William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, the fourth Duke of Portland (1768-1854), at some point after 1838, and has been maintained in excellent condition, with fresh, vibrant colors.
Francis Wahlgren, Christie's International Head of Books & Manuscripts, comments: “Audubon’s masterpiece, The Birds of America, sold for an impressive $7.9 million, the third highest price for a printed book at auction. This strong result for Audubon’s masterpiece confirms its iconic status and now holds the top three auction records for printed books. Christie's has sold four out of the five most valuable printed books ever sold at auction.”
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in 2016 that totalled £4 billion / $5.4 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.
Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 12 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.