John James Audubon




"Born in Haiti of French father and Haitian woman his family returned to France in 1788. In 1803 Audubon immigrated to the United States, where he was to represent his father's commercial interests. For Audubon, however, it was the beginning of an artistic pursuit to reproduce the birds and animals as they were found in the natural world. When he had accumulated a large collection of his watercolors he attempted to have them engraved. Being unsuccessful in America he sailed to England where the interest in his life and worked resulted in finding a printer in Scotland and subsequently subscribers for his huge enterprise. His story is an example of not only a great artist, but one of his perseverance which resulted in the magnificent engravings we appreciate today.


Audubon, J.J. First printing of The Birds of America. Double Elephant folio edition. Medium: Aquatints and hand colored, 1833-44. The first ten plates were executed by W.H Lizars, a noted Scottish engraver, however, R. Havell Jr. finished the work in England.


J.J. The Birds of America, first edition printed in the United Stated: Vol I (II-VII) New York and Philadelphia. 1841-1844 8 volumes issues in 100 parts with printed paper wrappers.



Audubon, J.J. with John Bachman, produced The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America  NY 1845-1848. Printed in elephant folio size. In 1849, 1851 and 1852. The eighth volume was printed in three volumes.


In 1860, the bird prints were selected to be printed by chromolithography in New York, by Bien & Co. Only 150 plated were printed before the Civil War began, after which production stopped and was never resumed. These prints in good to excellent condition are rare, as the paper used was manufactured from wood pulp, not watermarked paper created from rags."