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.
7 volumes, royal 8° (262 x 164 mm). Subscribers' lists vol. I and vol. V. 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. (Without half-titles, some occasional very pale offsetting, a few imprints just shaved, generally very fine). Original black half morocco, marbled boards, spines gilt-lettered and ruled, by P. Low, Boston, with their tickets (a few covers detached, a few leaves disbound, few repairs to joints, some rubbing, head of spine on vol. VII chipped with loss).
FIRST OCTAVO EDITION of John James Audubon's masterpiece, a fine, tall and wide copy with colors very clean and fresh. Audubon created 65 new images for the octavo edition, supplementing the original 435 of the double-elephant folio edition of 1827-38. The resulting series of 500 plates constitute the most extensive American color-plate book produced up to that time. The Philadelphia printer J.T. Bowen reduced the double-elephant plates by camera lucida and the resulting lithographs show significant changes in the backgrounds and compositions. The original configurations were altered so that only one species is depicted per plate. The text is a revision of the Ornithological Biography, rearranged according to Audubon's "A Synopsis of the Birds of North America" (1839). Ayer/Zimmer, p.22; Bennett, p.5; McGill/Wood, p.208; Nissen IVB 51; Reese 34; Sabin 2364.