Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2006 Issue

Audubon Works from William Reese

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Works of John James Audubon from William Reese.


By Michael Stillman

John James Audubon's drawings of birds are today among the most revered of American works of art. They are of such extraordinary beauty that it's hard to remember that they were more scientific works at the time, designed to introduce the world to forms of life it had never seen, accurately more than artistically reproduced. He proved that God, or nature, is the finest artist of all. The William Reese Company has issued its 11th Art Bulletin, containing nine Audubon items, including many plates from the famed double elephant folio edition of his wondrous Bird of America. Here is what is being offered.

Item 1 is the 1860 re-issue of John James Audubon's Birds of America by his son, John Woodhouse Audubon. The younger Audubon took his father's drawings and republished them in the original double elephant folio size, using the newly developed chromolithography process to reproduce the color drawings. However, only 150, about a third of the originals, were completed, as many of the subscribers were lost when the Civil War intervened. Included is the double elephant folio atlas and eight (in four) text volumes. Priced at $585,000.

Item 2 is the gorgeous Trumpeter Swan drawing (plate 406) from the original folio edition, released in 1838. $120,000.

Item 3 is an oil painting of the American Goldfinch, created by Audubon and Joseph Bartholomew Kidd is 1831. Audubon believed that these paintings could be used for a profitable traveling exhibition, but the relationship between him and Kidd had broken down by 1834 and the exhibitions never took place. $195,000.

Item 4 is an 1831 letter from Audubon to his brother-in-law, William Bakewell, discussing his Ornithological Biography, the text which accompanied the folio first of Birds of America. $11,000.

Item 5 is an 1856 three-volume set of Audubon's Quadrupeds of North America, his follow-up study of American mammals. $13,500.

Item 6 is the first octavo edition from 1840-44 of Birds of America. This version was an enormous commercial success and provided Audubon with the financial rewards that had previously eluded him. $125,000.

Item 7 is the folio image of the Blue Crane or Heron (plate 307) published in 1837. $80,000

Item 8 is the Columbia Jay, also from the folio (plate 96), printed in 1831. $29,500.

Item 9 is one of the most beautiful of all of Audubon's folio prints, the Snowy Owl (plate 121) from 1831. $125,000.

The William Reese Company is found online at www.reeseco.com, phone number 203-789-8081.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother (horizontal),</i> silver print, 1936. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Group of 32 WWII-era identification badges for manufacturing & military-related companies, 1940-50s. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Julia Margaret Cameron, <i>Alfred, Lord Tennyson,</i> albumen print, 1869. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Arnold Genthe, <i>Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt,</i> silver print, circa 1908. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Edward Curtis, <I>Oasis in the Badlands,</I> toned platinum print, 1905. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Francis Frith, three volumes, approximately 140 photographs, 1860-70s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Eugène Atget, <i>20 Photographs,</i> gold-toned silver prints by Berenice Abbott, 1898-1927. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b> Neil Leifer, <i>Muhammad Ali,</i> chromogenic print, 1965. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 11:</b><br>A group of approximately 50 Photomatic selfies of the same man taken over a period of time, 1940s. Estimate $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> STEINBECK, John (1902-1968). <i>The Pastures of Heaven.</i> New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1932. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> FITZGERALD, F. Scott (1896-1940). <i>Tender is the Night.</i> New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> STOKER, Bram (1847-1912). <i>Dracula.</i> Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company, 1897. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> GOLDING, William (1911-1993). <i>Lord of the Flies.</i> London: Faber and Faber, 1954. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> SALINGER, J. D. (1919-2010). The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HEMINGWAY, Ernest (1899-1961). <i>The Torrents of Spring.</i> New York: Scribner's, 1926. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HUXLEY, Aldous (1894-1963). <i>Brave New World.</i> London: Chatto & Windus, 1932. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> WELLS, H.G. <i>The Time Machine, an Invention.</i> New York: Henry Holt, 1895. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> DAHL, Roald (1916-1990). <i>Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.</i> New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b><center>Hindman Auctions<br>Literature from a Private New Orleans Collection<br>March 19, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> HERBERT, Frank (1920-1986). Dune. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1965. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> KESEY, Ken (1935-2001). <i>One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.</i> New York: The Viking Press, 1962. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Mar. 19:</b> VONNEGUT, Kurt, Jr. (1922-2007). <i>Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children's Crusade.</i> New York: Seymour Lawrence Delacorte Press, 1969. $2,000 to $3,000.

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