19 October 1999
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
Black Guillemot. (Plate no. CCXIX, Cepphus grylle). Sheet size: 650 x 963mm. Hand-coloured engraving, with aquatint, by Robert Havell. (Short tears to blank margins, insignificant signs of previous mounts on verso).
'The young, which are at first quite black, are covered in soft down, and emit, although in an under tone, the same lisping notes as their parents... About the first of August the Guillemots lead their progeny to the water, and although at that time neither old nor young are able to fly, they dive deeply and with great ease, which enables them to procure abundance of food, for at this season, lints [sic.], shrimps, and marine insects are plentiful in all the waters' (Audubon, Birds of America, New York & Philadelphia: 1840-1844, vol. VII, p.275). A fine plate from Audubon's Birds of America (London: 1827-1838. 4 vols., elephant folio).
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Please note that the estimate for this lot is now 1,800-2,200 and not 1,200-1,800 as stated in the catalogue.
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