Auction 139, Lot 710

"Whooping Crane", Audubon, J. J.

Subject: Prints Bird

Period: 1840 (circa)

Publication: Birds of America, Royal Octavo Edition

Color: Hand Color

5 x 7.5 inches
12.7 x 19.1 cm

This is Plate 313 from Audubon's First Royal Octavo Edition of Birds of America, which was lithographed and hand colored by J. T. Bowen. The Royal Octavo Edition was Audubon's effort to make his work more affordable and widely available. Using new technology called the camera lucida, the images from the Double Elephant Folio edition were reduced in size and drawn onto lithographic stones, with some compositional changes made to accommodate the smaller size. The plates were sold by subscription, five at a time, with the number at top left on each engraving indicating in which "part" the engraving was issued. This delightful engraving depicts a Whooping Crane about to devour a baby alligator, with another lying nearby. While in New Orleans in 1821, a hunter brought Audubon this specimen, from which he based his drawing. Paper size is 5-7/8" x 9-3/4".

References: Low, p. 131.

Condition: A

Original hand color with a couple of minor expert paper repairs in blank margins, far from image.

Estimate: $900 - $1,200

Sold for: $450

Closed on 2/15/2012