antique prints, maps and watercolors

Pl. 56. (King Bird) Birds of America. Philadelphia, 1840-44. $250.00

click for detailed image AudOctTyrantVLG.JPG

"Tyrant Flycatcher or King bird with Cottonwood Populus candicans"

John James Audubon is renowned for his elephant folio work entitled Birds of America depicting all the North American birds then known. It was a huge financial and time consuming enterprise based upon Audubon's watercolors that were engraved and hand colored by Robert Havell. It is widely regarded as containing the finest bird engravings ever produced. The great size and complicated printing methods used to create the original prints meant that they were costly even at the time of publication and a very limited number were produced. In response to popular demand, Audubon issued a smaller format edition of the work, known as the royal octavo edition (a reference to the paper size) that was affordable by a wider portion of the population. At the time of its publication a complete set of the royal octavo edition could be purchased for $100. Current prices range from $30,000 to $125,000 based upon edition, condition and venue.

This is a rare first edition impression from the royal octavo series.

Lithograph with original hand coloring beautifully preserved.
10 3/8 x 6 ½ inches, sheet.
With accompanying text.
Excellent condition save light spot at lower right.