His backwoods persona was seen as exotic and exciting and he was welcomed by polite society and the scientific establishment alike. With other paths closed to him, Audubon at this point resolved to pursue his passion and “Compleat a collection of the Birds of our Country, from Nature, all of Natural Size.” With Lucy contributing income as a teacher and governess, Audubon spent the next five years travelling thought the American Southeast studying and drawing birds—and, when necessarily, giving lessons in drawing, fencing, dancing, and French. Lot 1: Audubon Aquatint Engraving, Long-tailed or Dusky Grous. Since the book hadn’t been moved or handled much, “the quality of the coloring is absolutely spectacular,” Becker says. And, truly, such was not my intention; for, until long after, when I met the Prince of Musignano [Charles-Lucien Bonaparte] in Philadelphia, I had not the least idea of presenting the fruits of my labours to the world. First Edition Robert Havell Aquatint Engraving with Original Hand Color From Birds of America Double Elephant Folio. Audubon then partnered with his brother-in-law, Thomas Bakewell, in various commercial ventures, including a merchandising house in New Orleans and a sawmill and gristmill in Henderson. “The book has only effectively had one owner until Carl Knobloch,” says Sven Becker, head of books and manuscripts at Christie’s in New York, “and that was the dukes of Portland.” The 4th Duke bought the book in 1838 or 1839, soon after its publication; it remained shelved in the family’s Nottinghamshire estate until 2012. The newly printed Baby Elephant Folio presents all 435 of Audubon’s hand-colored engravings in exquisite reproductions derived from the original plates of the National Audubon Society’s archival copy of the rare Double Elephant Folio. Shortly after settling into Mill Grove, Audubon fell in love with Lucy Bakewell, the daughter of his neighbor William Bakewell. But, as Audubon freely admitted in the autobiographical reminiscence he wrote for his sons, the mercantile business did not suit him. A full 8-volume, double-elephant folio version is on public display in the Audubon Room at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He describes in “My Style of Drawing Birds” his first trying out of this method. He had two volumes under his arm, and as he approached the table at which I was working, I thought I discovered something like astonishment in his countenance. Within a couple of months a prospectus for the work appeared, the first subscribers were signed up (a hundred would be secured by the end of 1827), and work was well underway on the first five plates: the cock wild turkey, the yellow-billed Cuckoo, the prothonotary Warbler, the purple finch, and the Canada warbler. … The more I understood my Subjects the better I became able to represent them in what I hoped was a natural Position.” In a letter to a friend of 1828, Audubon emphasized that he never drew from stuffed specimens: “My drawings have all been made after individuals fresh killed, mostly by myself, and put up before me by means of wires, &c. in the precise attitude represented, and copied with a closeness of measurement that I hope will always correspond with nature when brought into contact.”. The foundation also funded the Wyoming Migration Initiative, which tracks the movements of ungulates (elk, mule deer, sheep, etc. … I listened less to others, more to him and slowly improved.” In the same essay, Audubon admitted that his first attempts at drawing birds were made when “I was very far from possessing any knowledge of their Nature. +C $26.32 shipping. Audubon protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. In 1827 Audubon began to issue the prints from the first edition of his monumental The Birds of America, which when completed ran to a total of 435 double elephant folio prints. Part 1: Double Elephant Bien.John James Audubon died in 1851. Larger birds tend to bring higher prices than the smaller songbirds. … I must wait patiently until the first Number is finished and Exibit that for although my Drawings are much admired if the work itself was inferior nothing could be done and until I have it I cannot expect many Subscribers. But this turned out to be good fortune disguised as calamity. In fact, Audubon was briefly incarcerated in debtors’ prison, but secured his release by declaring bankruptcy, after surrendering to his creditors all of his property save the clothes he was wearing, his rifle, and his portfolio of drawings. Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of "The Birds of America." Elephant folio … Illustration: John James Audubon. item 6 Audubon Society Audubon's Birds Of America Baby Elephant Folio 1981 - Audubon Society Audubon's Birds Of America Baby Elephant Folio 1981 $89.99 Free shipping Captain Audubon had by now returned to France, where he served in administrative roles with the French Republican Navy and, more importantly, encouraged his son’s early interests in nature and drawing. But the name Audubon will ever conjure up images of the Double Elephant Folio: it is sole and incomparable, as much a natural wonder as the remarkable birds it depicts. According to a two-page statement released by the foundation, its mission is “conservation of natural ecosystems,” and it has quite the budget to advance that mission: $150 million in assets that the directors intend to spend down over the next 10 to 15 years. There he took a soft board and sharpened pieces of wire and “pierced the body of the Fishing bird and fixed it onto the board—another Wire passed above his upper Mandible was made to hold the head in a pretty fair attitude, Smaller Skewers fixed the feet according to my notions, and even common pins came to my assistance in the placing the legs and feet.—the last Wire proved a delightful elevator to the Bird’s Tail and at Last there Stood before me the Mankin of a Kings Fisher! Considered the artist’s “greatest triumph,” the oversized four-volume set that contains 435 hand-colored prints of his watercolor drawings, published at great personal expense between 1827 and 1838, is the kind of rare book owned only by institutions and One Percenters. Amherst, Massachusetts, (2006) Hart-Davis. While supervising the work—or leaving his son Victor to do so—Audubon made trips back to America to look for subscribers and—more significantly—to find and paint more birds. Audubon sold 186 subscriptions to the complete folio of The Birds of America, each of which commanded the princely sum of $1,000—the cost of a substantial home at that time. C $41.45. As in Audubon’s original paintings, the birds were presented at full size — what Audubon called “the size of life.” Audubon’s 435 bird images can be grouped by size. It was printed on "double elephant" the largest size of paper available at the time. The four-volume masterpiece could raise $8-12 million, potentially setting a record value for John James Audubon's crowning achievement. An early subscriber's copy of John James Audubon's "Double Elephant Folio" – incomparably the most important and most beautiful color-plate book ever published. The first collecting and painting expedition Audubon made with this goal clearly in mind was in the autumn of 1820, when he travelled down the Mississippi on a flatboat from Cincinnati to New Orleans, in company with a young assistant Joseph Mason, who would draw backgrounds. … We hunted together, and obtained birds which he had never before seen; but, reader, I did not subscribe to his work, for, even at that time, my collection was greater than his.”, Alexander Wilson, who is still remembered as one of the pioneers of American ornithological study, never wrote of meeting Audubon—not unusual, perhaps, since he died in 1813, long before the younger man’s work had become well known. Though something of a dandy as young man (he admitted in an autographical essay written for his two sons that he had been “ridiculously fond of dress. George Ord, Wilson’s friend and editor, and Charles-Lucien Bonaparte, the ex-Emperor’s nephew who was at the time writing a supplement to Wilson’s earlier work, ensured that Audubon’s project was given a cool reception by the established and scientific and publishing communities in the United States. This happened in March 1810. “One fair morning, I was surprised by the sudden entrance into our counting-room of Mr Alexander Wilson, the celebrated author of the ‘American Ornithology’ of whose existence I had never until that moment been apprised. New York, 1988 . It should read “J. My rambles invariably commenced at break of day; and to return wet with dew, and bearing a feathered prize, was, and ever will be, the highest enjoyment for which I have been fitted” (Ornithological Biography). He was granted an audience with the Earl of Derby at Knowsley Hall, site of a famous private menagerie that was to be recorded in lithography by Edward Lear in 1846, and, among many notables, met Sir Walter Scott and ornithologists John Gould, Prideaux John Selby, and William Jardine—the last of whom he would accuse of pirating some of his images and accuse, in a letter to John Bachman, of “encumber[ing] the Whole of God’s Creation with Stuff as little like the objects of the Creator’s formations as the Moon is unto Cheese.”. The following year, Audubon and Lucy Bakewell were at last married, and the coupled settled into apartments at the Indian Queen Hotel. But always and increasingly the positioning of his “mannequins” was based on field observation: “As I travelled, mostly bent on the Study of birds and with a wish to represent all those found in our Woods to [the] best of my powers, I gradually became acquainted with their forms and Habits, the use of my Wires was improved by an acquirement in the delineation connected with the Naked Eye. You can still enjoy John James Audubon's stunning paintings. To his own sons, Audubon recalled that during his childhood “not an hour of leisure was spent elsewhere than in woods and fields, and to examine either the eggs, nest, young, or parents of any species constituted my delight.” In these hours of leisure, Audubon was frequently accompanied by this father, who, he recounts in Ornithological Biography, obtained specimens for him, taught him about “the departure and return of birds with the seasons, … their haunts, and, more wonderful than all, their change of livery. One of those early nineteenth-century books of ornithological illustration that Audubon politely dismissed was given to him by this father. Audubon became a naturalized citizen in 1812 and developed a fierce nationalism. The binding is also quite lavish—full red Morocco leather with gilt borders, which, due to the sheer size of the volumes, would have cost the duke nearly as much as the actual printed sheets. The Birds of America was immediately recognized as an extraordinary achievement and perhaps the greatest contribution ever made of art in the service of science. 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Published 1981 Condition Fine ISBN 9780896592315 Item Price $ The amount is within the $8-12 million range the book was estimated to sell for and roughly $2 million shy of the record amount paid for an Audubon folio. The first and most valuable is the original "double elephant folio" edition of the Birds of America. John James Audubon. From United States. Amherst, Massachusetts, (2006), Hart-Davis. The later lithographed “octavo” editions of The Birds of America and The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America are considerable triumphs in their own right. All the plates listed in this Havell edition gallery are full sheets (double elephant folio size) with the Whatman watermark, unless otherwise noted in the description. Considered the artist’s “greatest triumph,” the oversized four-volume set that … Over the years many authors have written entire books about the Birds of America publication. Photo: Howard Arndt/Audubon Photography Awards, Great Egret. Are the Trump Administration's Environmental Rollbacks Built to Last? Initially, Audubon tried suspending his subjects from string, “with the desire to shew their every portion as the wings lay loosely Spread as well as the Taile,” but finding the results fit only as “pretty fair sign Boards for Poulterers,” he soon developed an elaborate scheme of wiring the birds into natural attitudes that he had observed in the wild. On June 14, one of the world’s most expensive books, John James Audubon’s double-elephant folio of The Birds of America, will go to auction in New York City. …”. J Here, Top Rated Seller. While the second fascicle was being printed, the colorists who worked for Lizars—reproducing the palettes of “pattern plates” assembly-line style—went on strike. As soon as it is finished I will travel with it all over England Ireland and Scotland and then over the European Continent. Price $3,150.00. So it was that in New Orleans on 27 May 1826 Audubon boarded the ship Delos bound for Liverpool, hoping that in Great Britain he would find an expert engraver, and abundance of copper, and, most importantly, many wealthy subscribers to finance the undertaking. The financial panic of 1819 undoubtedly contributed to the collapse of all of Audubon’s mercantile enterprises, but the fault finally lay in himself and his increasing ornithological obsession, not in the stars of national economic collapse. A Los Angeles gallery is highlighting contemporary paintings inspired by two artistic giants: Larry Rivers and John James Audubon himself. Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox. SP. Originality: Limited Edition Print Subject: Birds Style: Realism Customs services and international tracking provided. On June 14, one of the world’s most expensive books, John James Audubon’s double-elephant folio of The Birds of America, will go to auction in New York City. The Audubon Amsterdam Edition and Price Guide The 1971-72 publishing of the Audubon Amsterdam Edition was the first complete full size facsimile reproduction of John James Audubon s original (1826-38) Havell Edition of Birds of America. Vanity and the encomiums of my friend prevented me from subscribing. . Indeed, I never thought of it beyond the ever-engaging journeys which I was in the habit of taking to Philadelphia or New York to purchase goods; these journeys I greatly enjoyed, as they afforded me ample means to study birds and their habits as I travelled through the beautiful, the darling forests of Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. and he loved the natural world,” says Knobloch’s nephew, Steve Sharkey, one of the directors of the KFF. England gave Audubon the acclaim and attention that the United States withheld. Audubon’s plan was to issue 80 parts or fascicles, each containing images of five birds: one large, one of medium size, and three small species. C $263.81. The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Published by Crown Publishing Group. Price $1,975.00. … Audubon is the greatest of bird painters; he belongs to American history, and as a writer he described things that human eyes will never see again.”. New York: J. Bien, 1860. Your drawings are certainly far better, and again you must know as much of the habits of American birds as this gentleman.’ Whether Mr Wilson understood French or not, or if the suddenness with which I paused, disappointed him, I cannot tell; but I clearly perceived that he was not pleased. Audubon's Elephant: America's Greatest Naturalist and the Making of "The Birds of America." He won subscriptions from many prominent individuals and institutions and must have been particularly pleased that Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences and American Philosophical Society both subscribed. Got a million bucks to spend on pictures of birds? Check watermark. In November Audubon was introduced to the engraver who could make his grand vision a reality: William Home Lizars of Edinburgh. T he original edition of the Birds of America is known as the Double Elephant folio. Membership benefits include one year of Audubon magazine and the latest on birds and their habitats. ISBN 10: 051753374X ISBN 13: 9780517533741. Revised edition with update by Susanne N. Low. All untrimmed Audubon originals are one of only three sizes. New York, 2004, Rhodes, Richard, ed. Update: When the gavel finally declared the bidding over, this copy of The Birds of America was officially sold for $9.65 million. John Bachman, who would write the text for his next major project, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America—and who, in 1837, would become John Woodhouse Audubon’s father-in-law. This item: Audubon's Birds of America: The Audubon Society Baby Elephant Folio by John James Audubon Hardcover CDN$212.99 Only 2 left in stock. Audubon relates the story at deserved length in Ornithological Biography. Authentication of Audubon Prints . But, despite his frequent later residencies in Europe promoting and overseeing the production of The Birds of America, most of his life was spent in the United States, which he travelled from Philadelphia to Florida and from Boston to the Badlands. Lee Vedder reports that the Huntington Library owns a presentation copy of the first edition of American Ornithology, inscribed by Wilson to Audubon and with the latter’s holograph annotations. Revised edition with Update by Susanne N. Low. Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos & news. In retrospect, Audubon realized that there was an easy fortune to made in Louisville in land speculation, “But,” he related to his sons with equanimity, “young heads are on young shoulders; it was not meant to be, and who cares?”, The store itself could have provided a good living, but Audubon’s affinity for nature, rather than commerce, had not moderated with his move southward: “we had many goods, and opened a large store at Louisville, which went on prosperously when I attended to it; but birds were birds then as now, and my thoughts were ever and anon turning toward them as the objects of my greatest delight. (Although Audubon did not subscribe to Wilson’s work, he did own a copy. Audubon Havell Edition Price Guide 1 The Audubon Havell Edition and Price Guide John James Audubon s original Birds of America double elephant folio was easily the finest natural history book ever published. Fries, Waldemar H. The Double Elephant Folio. Payment from subscribers would be due on delivery of each part, the plates of which would be sent rolled in a tin tube. Amsterdam Edition. Legal Notices Privacy Policy Contact Us. It’s the least you can do. Although auction houses routinely hold charity events, this might be the first time a rare book has been offered specifically for this purpose—one that would surely please John James Audubon himself. So you don't have $12 million to spare? by Peterson, Roger Tory and Virginia Marie Peterson Seller James & Mary Laurie Booksellers (A.B.A.A.) With the final publication of these prints, Audubon established his Birds of America as the definitive portrayal of American birds in realistic settings. ), as well as Golden Eagles and sage grouse. New York, (1999), Low, Susanne N. A Guide to Audubon's Birds of America. This item: Audubon's Birds of America: The Audubon Society Baby Elephant Folio by Roger Tory Peterson Hardcover $184.99 Only 17 left in stock - order soon. 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