AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and their Territories. New York: J.J. Audubon; Philadelphia: J.B. Chevalier, [1839-] 1840-1844.
100 ORIGINAL PARTS, royal 8o (275 x 177 mm). Half-titles, titles, contents and subscribers' lists in numbers 14, 28, 42, 56, 70, 84 and 100. 500 HAND-COLORED LITHOGRAPHED PLATES after Audubon by W.E. Hitchcock, R. Trembly and others, printed and colored by J.T. Bowen, wood-engraved anatomical diagrams in text. Duplicate of pages 297-304 in no. 56. (Some occasional pale foxing and offsetting, approximately 6 numbers with some pale dampstaining, but generally VERY FINE AND FRESH). ORIGINAL PRINTED WRAPPERS, numbers 1-80 in tan wrappers, 81-100 in blue wrappers (some occasional light wear at ends of spines, GENERALLY FINE); seven morocco pull-off cases. Provenance: Daniel Smolley (signature on no. 40, 65, 71, 76, 81, 90, 95);
A VERY TALL COPY IN THE ORIGINAL PRINTED WRAPPERS
FIRST OCTAVO EDITION of John James Audubon's masterpiece. The rear wrappers of the original parts provide a prospectus for the octavo edition, including five "particulars of the plan": "1. The size of the work is royal octavo, the paper being of the finest quality. 2. The Plates representing the Birds are correctly reduced from the original drawings, and are coloured in the most careful manner. 3. The work will appear in numbers, on the first and fifteenth of every month. 4. Each number will consist of Five Plates, accompanied with full descriptions of the habits and localities of the birds, their anatomy and digestive organs, (with occasionally wood cuts representing the latter,) and will be furnished to subscribers for one dollar, payable on delivery. 5. The work will be published in accordance with a scientific arrangement of the genera and species, and will complete the Ornithology of our country, it is believed, in the most perfect manner."
COPIES IN THE ORIGINAL WRAPPERS ARE EXTREMELY RARE: the last copy to appear at auction was the Richard Manney copy, with most parts rebacked and parts 43-56 reassembled into parts from a trimmed and bound copy (sold Sotheby's New York, 11 October 1991, lot 7). The H. Bradley Martin copy included only 98 of the original parts (lacking two parts), and had two parts in facsimile wrappers (sold Sotheby's New York, 6 June 1989, lot 34).
Ayer/Zimmer, p.22; Bennett, p.5; McGill/Wood, p.208; Nissen IVB 51; Sabin 2364. (7)
AUDUBON, John James and John BACHMAN (1790-1874). The Quadrupeds of North America. New York: V.G. Audubon, 1849-1854.
31 ORIGINAL PARTS, 8o (272 x 185 mm). Vol. 1 title and half-title bound at front of no. 1, vol. 2 title at end of no. 20 and vol. 3 title and half-title at end of no. 31. Indexes in parts 10, 20 and 31. 155 HAND-COLORED LITHOGRAPHED PLATES by W.E. Hitchcock and R. Trembly after J.J. and John Wodehouse Audubon. ORIGINAL PRINTED WRAPPERS (a few chips to fore-edges, a few stains, some spines chipped and with small losses); three morocco pull-off cases. Provenance: G. Kemble (pencil signature on no. 1); Edmond Rodman (ink signature on nos. 2 and 12, 16); Matthew Vassar (pencil signatures on nos. 18, 19, 22-26, 28-30).
FIRST OCTAVO EDITION, IN THE ORIGINAL WRAPPERS.
The Quadrupeds was first published in three folio volumes between 1845 and 1848, with 150 colored plates, supplemented in 1854 with an additional volume of text and 6 plates. The first octavo edition, issued in response to the success of a similar edition of The Birds of America, contains all of the original 150 plates, with 5 of the 6 supplemental plates, reduced by means of the camera lucida. It was prepared for the press and published by his sons, John W. and Victor, shortly after Audubon's death in January, 1851. Audubon, himself, because of declining health, was only able to sketch about half of the animals included in the final publication--the remainder being drawn by John W., with most of the scientific details in the text written by Bachman. Initially both the folio and octavo editions were issued in parts. With the publication of the final part in 1854 the quartet of works as envisaged by Audubon was completed.
The Prospectus, printed on the back wrappers, states that "The present will be a miniature copy of the large edition, with figures and descriptions of the Quadrupeds of the United States, (including Texas, California, and Oregon), part of Mexico, the British and Russian Possessions and Arctic regions of our continent. Each number will contain five plates, lithographed in a superior style and carefully coloured from the original drawings. The numbers will be delivered to subscribers at intervals of not less than one month, and the work will be completed in thirty numbers." Bennett, p.5; Nissen ZBI 163; Sabin 2638. A FINE, SCARCE, SET IT THE ORIGINAL PARTS.