Auction 137, Lot 847

Stunning Havell Edition Audubon Engraving

"Black Backed Gull. Larus Marinus", Audubon, J. J.

Subject: Birds

Period: 1835 (dated)

Publication: The Birds of America

Color: Hand Color

23.5 x 35.5 inches
59.7 x 90.2 cm

This original aquatint is Plate CCXLI (241) from the double-elephant folio Havell edition of Audubon’s great work on American ornithology, which is the most important ornithological work produced in America. The complete work was produced in less than 200 copies. Audobon traveled throughout the U.S. and recorded 435 life-size images of every native bird in the country, depicting them in natural poses in their native habitats. This engraving depicts the Black Backed Gull after being shot, which Audubon painted in 1833 and then provided to Robert Havell, Jr. along with a painting of the bird's foot, which appears in the upper-right corner. This is one of only three birds included in Audubon's work that depicts an aspect of hunting. The papermaker's watermark "J. Whatman / Turkey Mill / 1834" is along the right-hand edge of the sheet towards the bottom. The full sheet measures 25 1/8 x 37 7/8".


Condition: A

Magnificent original color with a few short tears in blank margins professionally repaired on verso, and very light soiling in bottom blank margin.

Estimate: $3,500 - $4,250

Sold for: $3,000

Closed on 9/14/2011