Here is a beautiful, illustrated book with a spectacular provenance. It is John Gould's The Birds of Australia, published in eight volumes 1851-1869. Gould was well known for his works on European birds when he decided he wanted to try his hand somewhere else. He set off for Australia to create images of birds generally unknown to the outside world. Much of the time he was there, Gould and his wife stayed with the Governor of Tasmania, John Franklin. Not surprisingly, Franklin was one of the subscribers. Offered by the Arader Galleries is John Franklin's copy. It comes with an autographed letter from Franklin's aide-de-camp, Henry Elliot, dated 1877. In it, Elliot explains that he was given the set by Franklin's niece after Franklin's widow died in 1876. Gould acknowledged the assistance of both Franklin and Elliot in the book's preface. Admiral Franklin is remembered more for what he did before and after his time in Australia. He was an Arctic explorer, leading three expeditions prior to his governorship, and one two years later, in 1845. This was an attempt to find a northwest passage, unsuccessful like so many others. Unfortunately, Franklin's ships became icebound and none of the men were able to make it to rescue. All succumbed to starvation and cold. However, many missions were sent to find him, including state rescue attempts and those funded by Franklin's wife. Much information about the Arctic regions was learned through missions attempting to find Franklin. $1,200,000.
The Arader Galleries has locations in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston and Denver. Questions concerning this catalogue may be addressed to Kate Hunter in New York at 212-628-3668 or email@example.com.