London, South Kensington
16 November 2004
AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851) & Rev. John BACHMAN (1790-1874). The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. New York: H. Ludwig [vols. I & II] or R. Craighead [vol.III] for J.J. and V.G. Audubon, 1846-1851-1853. 3 text volumes only, 4° (275 x 180mm). Half title to volume I, 6pp. subscribers' list in vols. I-II, two additional names on final leaf in vol. III. Original near-uniform purple cloth, paper title lables on spines (labels rubbed with some loss, vol. I & II spines faded and chipped, vol. III rebacked with small section of original spine laid down; modern cloth box.
FIRST EDITION of the text with the rare first issue of volume III dated 1853. These text volumes accompanied Audubon's final great natural history work, with descriptions of the quadrupeds of 'the British and Russian possessions in the north, the whole United States and their territories, California, and that part of Mexico north of the tropic of Cancer' (Introduction). Audubon's collaborator on the Quadrupeds was the naturalist and Lutheran clergyman John Bachman whose two daughters had married Victor and John W. Audubon. After considerable persuasion, Bachman wrote most of the text and edited the entire work. In issuing the text seperately to the volumes of plates, Audubon was continuing a practice that he had begun in Britain with the Birds of America. Had the text and plates of the Birds been issued together, the British Copyright Act of 1709 would have required him to deposit a complete set, including the plate volumes with each of the nine copyright libraries. By printing and binding them separately, he was able to avoid this extra expense. The present set includes the first issue of volume III, dated 1853 (rather than 1854) and with only 254 pages of text (rather than 344 pages in the second issue).
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium
Why the French Impressionist’s paintings of the Saint-Lazare train station are among his greatest achievements
Meredith Etherington-Smith hails the long and distinguished career of the London antiques dealer with a client list that reads like an international who’s who