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. His backwoods persona was seen as exotic and exciting and he was welcomed by polite society and the scientific establishment alike. Great Blue Heron, American Flamingo, and Wild Turkey are three of the most valuable prints of The Birds of America. The four-volume masterpiece could raise $8-12 million, potentially setting a record value for John James Audubon's crowning achievement. The subject matter of an Audubon print also helps determine the value. In the 2010 Sotheby's Auction, the Lord Hesketh 4-volume set of Audubon's The Birds of America sold for a record-breaking $11.5 million ! But while the study of the birds of America was the principal avocation of Audubon’s adult life, it was not to truly become his vocation for more than two decades after he embarked at New York. Audubon quickly found a more capable and enthusiastic collaborator in Robert Havell, Jr., of London. The 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. New York, 1988. Amsterdam Edition. Audubon’s “Great Work” was called the “Double Elephant Folio”, the “Birds of America” or the “Havell Edition”. (Double Elephant Folio 26-1/2" x 39-1/2" +/-) Birds of America prints, since the 1930s. Overwhelmed and Understaffed, Our National Wildlife Refuges Need Help. Tell Congress to stop efforts to strip away critical protections in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Birds of America showcased, for the first time, life-size illustrations of birds (some of which are now extinct, like the Carolina Parakeet). Audubon’s commercial ventures continued to founder: the New Orleans business and Henderson mills all failed, and he lost a significant stake investing in a Mississippi River steamboat with George Keats, brother of the poet. But it was more than that, Becker of Christie’s says: “Audubon was striking out into untouched landscape and recording the birds and the habitats as well. Based on the advice of Lizars, Audubon decided to publish any description text separately from the plates in order to circumvent British copyright-deposit laws. Mr Wilson now examined my drawings with care, asked if I should have any objections to lending him a few during his stay, to which I replied that I had none: he then bade me good morning, not, however, until I had made an arrangement to explore the woods in the vicinity along with him, and had promised to procure for him some birds, of which I had drawings in my collection, but which he had never seen. He was particularly in demand for death-bed portraits and later wrote that “so high did my reputation suddenly rise, as the best delineator of heads in that vicinity, that a clergyman residing at Louisville … had his dead child dis interred, to procure a fac-simile of his face.”. Payment from subscribers would be due on delivery of each part, the plates of which would be sent rolled in a tin tube. It should be mentioned that the common names of the birds as indicated on this site are derived from the revised edition of Audubon’s Birds of America: The Audubon Society Baby Elephant Folio by John James Audubon and edited by Roger Tory Peterson and Virginia Marie Peterson (Abbeville Press: NY, 1990). Audubon worked briefly as a clerk for Lucy Bakewell’s uncle in New York, while Rozier took a position with a French trading house in Philadelphia. All untrimmed Audubon originals are one of only three sizes. 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. 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 giant energy of the man, and his power of achievement and accomplishment, give to him something of the epical force of a Walt Whitman or a Herman Melville. 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. The Double Elephant Folio Hardcover – 2006 by Waldemar H. Fries. Carl W. Knobloch, Jr., who purchased the book at auction in 2012 for just under $8 million, gifted it to the foundation managed by his wife, three daughters, and nephew before his passing in 2016. 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. “I felt surprised and gratified at the sight of his volumes, turned over a few of the plates, and had already taken a pen to write my name in his favour, when my partner rather abruptly said to me in French, ‘My dear Audubon, what induces you to subscribe to this work? Instead, every dollar will be invested into environmental causes by the consignor, the Knobloch Family Foundation (KFF), a private, family-run organization that focuses on “place-based conservation,” primarily in Texas, Georgia, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. AUDUBON AMSTERDAM Double Elephant Folio Black Bellied Plover Plt. John James Audubon: Crazy, Wrong, or Neither? Ornithological Biography, or An Account of the Habits of the Birds of the United States of America. Price $1,975.00. Both efforts were successful. 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. . Spread the word. 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. … The first Collection of Drawings I made of this Sort were from European Specimen, procured by my Father or myself. Vol. Top Rated Seller. … this was what I Shall ever call my first attempt at Drawing actually from Nature, for then Even the eye of the Kings fisher was as if full of Life before me whenever I pressed its Lids aside with a finger.”, Audubon made modifications and improvements to his wiring scheme – he adopted uniform grids behind his tableaux and on his drawing paper to assist him in depicting proportions—but this became his standard protocol for the original drawings that were the basis for The Birds of America. Part 1: Double Elephant Bien.John James Audubon died in 1851. Audubon’s wife accepted the children as her own, and in 1794 both were formally adopted by the couple; the boy took the name Jean-Jacques Fougère Audubon. New Haven and New York, 2002, Rhodes, Richard. Got a million bucks to spend on pictures of birds? Whatman” or “J. I rose, took down a large portfolio, laid it on the table, and shewed him, as I would shew you, kind reader, or any other person fond of such subjects, the whole of the contents, with the same patience with which he had shewn me his own engravings. 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. Even Audubon witnessed dwindling species and habitat loss as early as the 1820s, which makes it apropos that a copy of his masterpiece will be sold to benefit conservation. The Amsterdam Edition reproduced all 435 original plates on fu ll double-elephant folio sized paper. The Double Elephant Folio August 18, 2017 From his earliest conception of The Birds of America, Audubon intended that each bird would appear life-sized and, in some cases, alongside plants, wildlife (including other birds), and other environmental elements. Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox. Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives. The board meets three times a year to discuss opportunities and proposals, and their preference is for “data not deals,” according to the statement. 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 boys both grew to work with their father: Victor would act as his agent in business agent in London during the printing of The Birds of America, as well as in the marketing of the reduced-size “octavo” editions of that work, while John Woodhouse became an artist who closely collaborated with his father on The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. Great Natural History Books and their Creators. 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. There are only 13 copies of this edition left in private hands, and this one is not only beautiful but historically noteworthy. …”. Audubon became a naturalized citizen in 1812 and developed a fierce nationalism. Large images (20 percent of the total) take up most of a double elephant folio sheet while medium images (another 20 percent) include a moderate margin and small images (the final sixty percent) have very large margins. 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. … It is not the Naturalists that I wish to please altogether I assure thee; it is the wealthy part of the community. Between 1827 and 1839, John James Audubon worked with Robert Havell, a London engraver to create the “Double Elephant Folio”. 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. 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. It was printed on "double elephant" the largest size of paper available at the time. Audubon was born Jean Rabine, the natural son of Jean Audubon, a French sea captain and plantation owner, and Jeanne Rabine, a chambermaid who gave the boy her last name but who died when he was just seven months old. “The very first venture which I undertook was in indigo; it cost me several hundred pounds, the whole of which was lost. Top Rated Seller. Becker, who has personally handled six copies of Audubon’s Birds during his career, says it has been “incredibly rewarding” to work with this one considering the foundation’s plan for the proceeds of the forthcoming sale. This gallery contains authentic Amsterdam Edition Lithographs of John James Audubon's the Birds of America. 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. John James Audubon. In his monumental masterpiece, viz., the Double Elephant Folio Edition of the Birds of America published during 1827-1838, the naturalist John James Audubon published 435 drawings of the birds he drew from his observations in Nature. Help power unparalleled conservation work for birds across the Americas, Stay informed on important news about birds and their habitats, Receive reduced or free admission across our network of centers and sanctuaries, Access a free guide of more than 800 species of North American birds, Discover the impacts of climate change on birds and their habitats, Learn more about the birds you love through audio clips, stunning photography, and in-depth text. Audubon's Birds of America; the Audubon Society baby elephant folio. … 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. John James Audubon: A Biography. National Audubon Society But he did record his visit to Louisville in American Ornithology: he claimed he found not one subscriber and not one new bird while there, and that “Science or literature has not one friend in this place." Plate 431 American Flamingo Audubon Repro Havell Edition Double Elephant Folio. 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. Legal Notices Privacy Policy Contact Us. 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. J Elephant Folio: Above the folio size, paper sheets come in a variety of measurements. Edinburgh, 1831, Desmond, Ray. The following prints are from this edition. Fries, Waldemar H. The Double Elephant Folio. Great Horned Owl Pl 39. Illustration: John James Audubon, “The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. 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. T he original edition of the Birds of America is known as the Double Elephant folio. It was there that I commenced my simple and agreeable studies, with as little concern about the future as if the world had been made for me. 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 SP. He describes in “My Style of Drawing Birds” his first trying out of this method. Or take action immediately with one of our current campaigns below: The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to more than 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. New York, 1988 . C $207.32. Ships from and sold by Yr_Satisfaction_Guaranteed . 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. The Audubon Reader. The term “double elephant” was a printers term referring to the largest paper available for printing at the time. The year-long return to Nantes was not without advantage to Audubon, however; while there he met the young Charles-Marie D’Orbigny, his family’s doctor and a gifted ornithologist, who did much to school Audubon in taxidermy, and in a more scientific way of approaching and cataloguing his subjects. The Border Wall Has Been 'Absolutely Devastating' for People and Wildlife, Rulers of the Upper Realm, Thunderbirds Are Powerful Native Spirits. San Marino, California, (2006). From United States. Originality: Limited Edition Print Subject: Birds Style: Realism Customs services and international tracking provided. As he wrote of the Louisville store, “I could not bear to give the attention required by my business, and which, indeed, every business calls for, and, therefore, my business abandoned me. ), as well as Golden Eagles and sage grouse. Knobloch had grown up on a farm in Connecticut and enjoyed hunting, fly fishing, and other outdoorsy pursuits. Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of "The Birds of America." There are fewer than ten limited edition publications of high quality Audubon facsimile reproduction prints that have been issued (and several are not yet sold out) of the original full sized D.E.F. London, 2004. Over the past few years, the KFF’s philanthropic projects have included a donation of $2 million towards the purchase of the Powderhorn Ranch, a 17,351-acre piece of native coastal prairie in Texas that is expected to become a state park. Photo: Howard Arndt/Audubon Photography Awards, Great Egret. Neither of the girls would live to a second birthday. 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. 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. They will be brought up and finished in such superb style as to Eclipse all of the Kind in Existence, the price of each number is Two Guineas—and all Individuals have the privileges to subscribe for all or any portion of it … The Little Drawings in the center of these beautifull Large Sheets have a fine effect and an air of Richness & wealth that cannot but help ensure success in this Country—I cannot yet say that I will ultimately succeed, but at present all bears a better aspect than I ever expected to see. 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. and he loved the natural world,” says Knobloch’s nephew, Steve Sharkey, one of the directors of the KFF. ), Rozier and Audubon tried to expand their enterprise to St. Genevieve, Missouri, and Henderson, Kentucky, and but they eventually went their separate ways. So you don't have $12 million to spare? But, as Audubon freely admitted in the autobiographical reminiscence he wrote for his sons, the mercantile business did not suit him. That’s one thing people tend to forget, because the book is called The Birds of America, but actually it’s full of thousands of insect specimens and plant specimens.” Since three quarters of the population was living within 50 miles of the Atlantic coast at the time, he adds, Audubon was “revealing America to itself.”. Visit your local Audubon center, join a chapter, or help save birds with your state program. … 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.”. “His surprise appeared great, as he told me he never had the most distant idea that any other individual than himself had been engaged in forming such a collection. Founded in 1997, the KFF is tight-lipped—they have no website and no staff. First Edition Robert Havell Aquatint Engraving with Original Hand Color From Birds of America Double Elephant Folio. … 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.”. Audubon's Birds of America Coloring Book by Audubon, ... Random House Value Publishing, 1985. This may have been just as well, since it is likely that the American publishing industry was not yet technically advanced enough to produce and print the massive engraved plates that Audubon had in mind. I shot, I drew, I looked on nature only; my days were happy beyond human conception. Your support helps secure a future for birds at risk. Quick View. New York, (1999), Low, Susanne N. A Guide to Audubon's Birds of America. or Best Offer. 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. 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. From United States. 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. Description: Long-tailed or Dusky Grous, Plate 361. 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. To have seen me going shooting in black satin smallclothes, or breeches, with silk stockings, and the finest ruffled silk shirt Philadelphia could afford, was, as I now realize, an absurd spectacle …”), Audubon came to favor buckskin and homespun. As soon as it is finished I will travel with it all over England Ireland and Scotland and then over the European Continent. For the next five years over various excursions and expeditions, Audubon patiently gathered material, and his body of work grew rapidly. 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. Second Edition Prints by John James Audubon. New York, 2004, Rhodes, Richard, ed. Audubon began to truly copy nature when he arrived in the United States in 1803, dispatched by his father to manage an estate outside of Philadelphia, Mill Grove, that had been purchased in 1789 for its potential lead deposits. This is an unusually large and brilliantly colored copy, with the plates in very early state: all ten first plates are engraved by Lizars alone, prior to retouching by Havell Jr, and 141 of Low’s 150 variable plates are present in the first state. This happened in March 1810. Sotheby’s and Goldin Auctions Announce Michael Jordan’s 1991 NBA Finals Game-Worn, Twice-Signed Air Jordan High Top SneakersAs a Highlight of A Century of Champions Sports Memorabilia Sale, 100 Years of Sports History Comes to Auction, Public Institutions & Private Collectors Clamor for Works fromThe Estates of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred StieglitzAt Sotheby’s New York, Sotheby’s to Present ALFRED STIEGLITZ, GEORGIA O’KEEFFE, JUAN HAMILTON: PASSAGE, Rare Etchings by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, The Original Olympic Manifesto Brings Home the Gold, The Rare Enigma M4 that Survived Nazi Force's Destructive Retreat, A Rare Collection of 'Winnie-the-Pooh' from A.A. Milne’s Own Desk, Poe's 'The Raven' is the Perfect Christmas Ghost Story, The Spark of Life: Illustrating the Beautiful Complexity of the Human Brain, 50 Years of Sotheby's in Germany: Fix and Foxi. “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. In the preface to Ornithological Biography, he introduced himself to his readers as “an American Woodsman,” and he particularly liked to project a backwoods persona when in Scotland, England, and France – even if he never did quite lose his French accent. Published 1981 Condition Fine ISBN 9780896592315 Item Price $ 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. Audubon's Birds of America(The Audubon Society Baby Elephant Folio) by Peterson, Roger Tory; Virginia Marie Peterson and John James Audubon [Illustrator] and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at AbeBooks.com. “He had an unusual sense of aesthetics, and he liked collecting art . London and New Castle, Delaware, (2003) Ford, Alice. Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos & news. Minimal wear. London, 2004, Irmscher, Christoph, ed. The foundation also funded the Wyoming Migration Initiative, which tracks the movements of ungulates (elk, mule deer, sheep, etc. These common names are officially designated by the American Ornithological Union. Audubon, John James. The boy was initially cared for by another of Captain Audubon’s mistresses, but with the threat of a slave revolt making Saint-Domingue increasingly unstable, he sent his son and one of his daughters, Rose Bouffard, to live with his wife, Anne Moynet Audubon, in Nantes (another half-sister remained in Saint-Dominigue and was killed during the slave insurrection in 1791). New York, 2006, Souder, William. Irmscher, Christoph, ed. … 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. Bald Eagle. Knobloch was, according to his nephew, an inveterate investor, and he purchased The Birds of America “as an investment for the foundation,” which is now being realized. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.”. Elephant folio … The name Double Elephant was a … 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. … 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. Illustration: John James Audubon. 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). 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. The first and most valuable is the original "double elephant folio" edition of the Birds of America. 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. Audubon was speaking of himself as much as his fellow-citizens when, in an 1833 letter, he urged the engraver Robert Havell, Jr., to be as accurate as possible in the finishing and coloring of the plates based on his watercolors: “Americans are excellent Judges of Work particularly of Such as are drawn from their Country’s Soil—they are proud of every thing that is connected with America, and feel Mortified when ever any thing is done that does not come up to their Sanguine expectations.”. You can still enjoy John James Audubon's stunning paintings. Can This Critically Endangered Bird Survive Australia's New Climate Reality? In December 1826, Audubon described the fledgling publication, and his plans for promoting it, to Lucy: “it is to come out in numbers of 5 prints the size of Life and all in the same size paper of my Largest Drawings called Double Elephant paper. France, Audubon also became acquainted with Ferdinand Rozier, who returned with him to the paper. 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