Pl. 273 Golden-Winged Woodpecker [Northern Flicker] (2nd Ed); The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories. John James Audubon.

Pl. 273 Golden-Winged Woodpecker [Northern Flicker] (2nd Ed); The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories

New York: Audubon, J.J., 1856. The Second Royal Octavo. Matted in Rag Board. Original hand-colored lithograph from The Second Royal Octavo Edition of John James Audubon's The Birds of America (6.5 x 10.25 inches). Includes text and the Lowry-James Rare Prints & Books Certificate of Authenticity. The Royal Octavo Edition of The Birds of America represents John James Audubon's (1770-1851) desire to create a democratic work based his magnum opus, The Double Elephant Folio Edition of The Birds of America. Satisfied with his research, as well as the portrayals, of all of America's birds, Audubon now chose to offer a miniature version of The Birds of America. In addition, as a revolutionary entrepreneur, Audubon wanted to create another revenue stream for his family. As is the case with many prolific, independent artists, Audubon continued to improve on what was already viewed by most as perfection. During the mid 19th Century, there were no photomechanical means of reproduction, so each composition was redrawn by hand, with the aid of the Camera Lucida. For the Royal Octavo Edition of The Birds of America, Audubon and his assistants translated the 435 compositions of the Double Elephant Folio into 500 renewed images. Each bird was presented as single species. Groups of unrelated birds were separated and divided according to species, and presented on a new botanical perch or within a renewed landscape. The Royal Octavo birds were not portrayed life-sized, as in the Double Elephant Folio Edition, however, each bird was sized to scale on the octavo (6.5 x 10.25 inch) page. With this slight alteration, Audubon created a perfected composition, and offered vignetted view into the natural world, as it did exist. For this Royal Octavo Edition, Audubon enlisted America's premier lithographers, JT Bowen and Co. in Philadelphia and Endicott in New York to produce the work. Every one of the compositions was drawn on a limestone tablet, inked, printed and then hand-colored with watercolor. In this format Audubon presented the undocumented birds discovered during his Western explorations but not included in the Elephant Folio Edition of The Birds of America. As with the Folio edition, the work was sold by subscription, issued in 100 packets of 5 hand-colored lithographs and accompanying text, which was primarily the Ornithological Biography issued with the Folio edition, with slight alterations. The pagination was organized to be bound in 7 volumes. The successful Royal Octavo Edition was produced in 8 editions. The last edition issued in 1870 by George Lockwood in New York. (Wood 208. Nissen. Ron Tyler: Audubon's Great National Work ). Fine condition with bright original hand-coloring. Item #6691

Price: $250.00