Audubon, John James (1785-1851), Rare and Fine Copy
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Audubon, John James (1785-1851), Rare and Fine Copy, The Birds of America, New York: Bien Chromolithographers, 1860, second double folio edition with four text volumes, contemporary calf, complete having 150 plates on 105 sheets, colors bright and fresh, (binding with losses to spine and cover detached, a few sheets in the middle of the first gathering with minor creasing; very minor defects and smudges).
Note: As fine and bright a copy that exists in private hands, the interior of this volume has seen little light or wear. This edition is John Woodhouse Audubon's reissue of his father's historic work and utilized the relatively new technique of chromolithography. His family chose the firm of Julius Bien because of his reputation as the most accomplished printer in this new medium, his task was to duplicate the original elephant folio edition. However, a new system was used to consolidate the smaller birds (two at a time) on one sheet of paper, thus reducing the overall size of the volumes. This became a moot point, however, when the American Civil War curtailed production and only 150 of the original plates were reprinted. Although it is unknown how many completed folios were printed, the number is generally thought to be around 100. Complete sets are extremely rare to the market.