Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

The present hand-colored original Audubon print comes from the Havell double elephant folio edition of Birds of America, the greatest color plate book ever made. This work was Audubon's magnum opus and was published at immense expense over almost a decade, between 1827 and 1838. The Havell Edition of Birds of America included 435 hand-color aquatinted plates, and it is estimated that between 165 and 175 complete sets were produced. Today, a given individual image probably exists in no more than 60 loose examples, though for some plates the number will be much lower. Audubon aquatint engravings from the Havell Edition were printed on J. Whatman wove paper, the best paper in the world at the time - and to this day an exceptional fine art paper. The sheets of paper were approximately 26½ x 39½ inches untrimmed. Importantly, they all feature watermarks that are variations on "J.Whatman" or "J.Whatman / Turkey Mill" with the date of manufacture sometimes appended. In addition to the name of the bird depicted (and sometimes its gender, age, and botanical notes as well) Audubon's name and the name of the engraver also appear printed on Havell Edition plates. On the lower left side is printed "Drawn from nature by John James Audubon F.R.S. and F.L.S." (Fellow of the Royal Society of London and Fellow of the Linnaean Society). The only exception to this is Plate 64, Swamp Sparrow, in which Lucy Audubon is credited. On the lower right side is printed "Engraved by" (in a few cases the words "Engraved and colored by" or "Retouched by" appear) followed by the name W.H. Lizars or Robert Havell, Jr. (Sometime after his father's death in 1832 Robert Havell, Jr. dropped the Jr.)


London / 1835
35 x 22.3 inches