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    Early Octavo Editions of Audubon's Birds of America and Quadrupeds of North America, with 655 Hand-Colored Lithographs in Total

    John James Audubon. The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories. New York: V. G. Audubon, 1860. Early octavo reissue. With 500 tinted and hand-colored lithographs by J. J. Bowen, Philadelphia. Seven volumes. viii, [11]-246, [6, blank]; vii, [1, blank], [11]-199, [5, blank]; viii, [9]-233, 5, blank]; viii, [9]-321, [5, blank]; viii, [9]-346, [6, blank]; viii, [9]-456, [4, blank]; vii, [1, blank], [9]-372, [4, blank] pages.
    Uniformly bound in contemporary brown morocco, intricately tooled with black accents. Binding dated January 1863. Marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. Biopredation to lower rear hinge of volume V. General edgewear and rubbing to hinges and extremities. Some small cracks to leather at spines. Bumping and rubbing to spine ends. There is light to heavy scattered foxing throughout all textblocks.
    The set is ex-library, with inkstamps to all title pages, as well as to the margins of [volume I] pages 130 and 246, [volume II] pages 187 and 199, [volume III] pages 43 and 156, [volume IV] pages 17, 119, 283 and 321, [volume V] pages 145, 207, 231, 271 and 346, [volume VI] pages 9, 91, 271 and 456 and [volume VII] pages 153 and 360. In addition, the following plates have inkstamps to their versos: 17, 44, 63, 67, 95, 134, 201, 296 and 473. The following plates have inkstamps to their lower margins: 153, 162, 183, 240 and 285. There are no other library indications.
    Plate 101 is starting. There is offsetting to the left margin of plate 167 from a ribbon bookmark. The offsetting just barely touches the image on the left side. There is light dampstaining to the top margin of plates 372-374, not affecting the images. The following plates are switched in order: Plates 155 and 156, plates 187 and 188 and plates 287 and 288. There is light dampstaining to the left corner of plates 377-417. The dampstaining affects the images slightly. All plates have tissue guards. Most tissue guards are toned, with some additional scattered foxing or staining to a few. The tissue guard for plate 264 is detached but present.
    In volume V, there is a small, light dampstain to the top margin of pages 165-201, not affecting text. In volume VI, there is dampstaining to the text starting at page 69. The staining is marginal through page 164, where it begins to affect the text throughout the rest of the volume. In this volume, there are also additional darker stains to the inner margins of pages 164-165, not affecting text. This volume is over-opened at pages 272-273. There is some offsetting to the left margin of page 245 from the ribbon tissue guard, not affecting text.
    [together with:]

    John James Audubon and John Bachman. The Quadrupeds of North America. New York: V. G. Audubon, 1856, 1860 (no date on first volume). Early reissue of mixed editions. Octavo. With 144 hand-colored lithographs by J. T. Bowen and 11 true first edition plates by Nagel & Weingaertner for a grand total of 155 gorgeous hand-colored plates after drawings by John James Audubon and his son, John Woodhouse Audubon.
    Three volumes. xiv, [1, "Table of genera described in this volume."], [1, blank], [1]-383, [5, blank]; [1]-334, [6, blank]; v, [1, blank], [1]-348, [4, blank] pages.
    Uniformly bound in contemporary brown morocco, intricately tooled with black accents. Binding dated January 1863. Marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. Front board of volume I reattached. The bottom rear hinge of volume II is starting. Bottom rear hinge of volume II just starting. Some biopredation to front hinge of volume III. There is general rubbing to hinges and extremities, as well as rubbing and fraying to the spine ends. There is even toning and light, scattered foxing throughout the textblock. All plates have tissue guards.
    The set is ex-library, with inkstamps to all title pages, as well as to the margins of [volume I] pages 15, 265 and 380, [volume II] 13, 67, 292 and 330 and [volume III] 11, 52, 162, 302 and 336. In addition, the following plated have inkstamps to their versos: XIV, XLIII, XLVIII, L, C, CXXIII, CXLI and CL. There are no other library indications. Plates LVIII and LIX are reversed.
    While most of the plates are lithographed by J. T. Bowen, this set contains eleven true first edition plates lithographed by Nagel & Weingaertner: VI (American Cross Fox), VIII (Chipping Squirrel), Plate XVI (Canada Lynx), XVII (Cat Squirrel), XVIII (Marsh Hare), XX (Townsend's Ground Squirrel), XXII (Grey Rabbit), XXIII (Black Rat), XXIV (Four Striped Ground Squirrel), XXV (Downy Squirrel), XXXI (Collared Peccary).
    Both of these sets comprise early octavo editions of works which were originally in a folio format. In most cases, with Birds as with Quadrupeds, the images of the plates were sometimes significantly altered from their original format. The distinction between the first and later editions of Birds is in the emergence of a tinted (not hand-colored) background for the plates of the second and subsequent editions, while the text remains generally the same. In Quadrupeds, things get a bit more difficult. Flynn notes that "there is mounting evidence that the Audubons were, at best, a bit slipshod in the assembling and distribution of quad edition sets and plates to subscribers." At the outset of creating the octavo edition, the New York firm of Nagel & Weingaertner was hired to do the lithography; however, early on in the project, the Audubons went back to their favorite lithographer, J. T. Bowen of Philadelphia. Therefore, ONLY plates bearing the name of Nagel & Weingaertner could truly be called first edition plates.
    Both sets are uniformly bound and are in very good condition.
    (Flynn)


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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