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    Description

    John J. Audubon Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 7.5" x 9", London; May 19, 1828. Addressed to the ornithologist and botanist William Swainson. It reads in full: "Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last all have lapsed and I have not had the pleasure of hearing that you came to Town. I sincerely hope that unforeseen accidents have not prevented your visit - Pray write a few lines to assure me that you will either come very soon or give leave to go to you. I have had two letters from C. Bonaparte that I would like you to read as they are connected with our Science." Signed, "John J. Audubon."

    John James Audubon (1785-1851), the Haitian-born Frenchman who spent most of his life in the United States, is, without question, the greatest and most influential painter of birds in the history of ornithological illustration. His color-plate book, The Birds of America, took twelve years (1827-1838) of meticulous work to complete. The 435 hand-colored aquatint engravings, masterfully rendered by Robert Havell, depicted North American birds in their full life-size glory. William Swainson (1789-1855), a renowned ornithologist and entomologist, had been traveling in Brazil from 1816, but had recently returned to England after the political situation in Brazil worsened. He arrived with a large collection of insects, plants and bird skins which were of great interest to Audubon. He authored Zoological Illustrations and Fauna Boreali-Americana. Audubon greatly admired Swainson and named the Swainson's warbler after him. Charles Lucian Bonaparte, nephew of the French emperor, was also an ornithologist.

    Condition: Spotting and toning throughout with small .5" hole at center crease near left edge touching one letter. Strip of archival tape along with small piece of heavyweight paper pasted to verso to repair a hole. Blue Walter Mantell stamp to the left of the signature.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    19th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 417

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