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.”
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