Title: Red headed Duck Plate 396
Artist: John J. Audubon
Publication: Birds of America
Date: Philadelphia: John T. Bowen, 1839-44. First edition royal octavo
Print Type: Hand Colored Stone Lithograph
Size: 10.25" x 6"
Description: John James Audubon’s (1785-1851) worked on the monumental Birds of America from 1827-1838, illustrating & editing one of the largest and most expansive bird books in the world. He used the finest of specimens, and all types of media including oil crayon, pastel watercolors, ink & gouache to stunning effect. The Birds, drawn by Audubon, W.E. Hitchcock, R. Trembley and others, printed by J.T. Bowen of Philadelphia as a whole is one of the "most beautiful, popular, and important natural history books published in America in the nineteenth century. Even as Audubon was seeing the last plates of the first edition of The Birds of America being finished, he was making plans for the publication of a smaller version. The royal octavo edition, first published in New York and Philadelphia in 1840-44, was such a success that seven editions followed it. These prints are not simply small replicas of the elephant folio edition. Only one species appears on each plate, and often the backgrounds are simplified. The first edition of the octavo work was overseen and approved by the great artist himself. The octavo Birds of America was originally issued in 100 parts, each containing five plates. His genius was in his intimate knowledge of the world of birds & their surroundings gained from a lifetime of observation in the field, and the ability to translate this vision into a publication that has never been equaled in the world of ornithology.
This plate is in very good condition, with original rough bound edge and some age toning to the paper, which is normal for the age of the print.
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