14 October 2003
JOHN JAMES AUDUBON
PROPERTY OF A BOSTON FAMILY
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 8o (270 x 169 mm). Half-titles, subscribers' lists. 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 (plate 95 with some wear along edges, plate 215 loose, pale intermittent spotting and marginal staining, occasional light offsetting onto plates, generally clean). 20th-century quarter pigskin, gilt-lettered on spines (spines lightly faded). Provenance: H. LeRoy Edgar (pencil signatures on half-titles).
A CLEAN AND TALL COPY OF THE FIRST OCTAVO EDITION of John James Audubon's masterpiece. 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 constitutes 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. AN UNUSUALLY TALL COPY, WITH FRESH, BRIGHT IMPRESSIONS OF THE PLATES.
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