AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES The Birds of America from drawings made in the United States and their Territories.
New York: V. G. Audubon, 1856. Second octavo edition. Seven volumes, later (mid-20th century) three-quarters red morocco, cloth boards, gilt decorated spines, top edges gilt. 10 1/8 x 6 7/8 inches (26 x 16.75 cm); various paginations, half-titles present in volumes I-V; with five hundred fine hand-colored lithographs by J.T. Bowen of Philadelphia after Audubon, these appearing for the first time with tinted backgrounds. Some (generally minor) binding wear, some joints and corners slightly rubbed, a few chips to headcaps, internally a very fresh copy.
A clean and pleasing set of this great color-plate ornithology. This second octavo edition was the first to be issued issued after Audubon's death in 1851. The work was destined to be reprinted several times, until (in 1871) the plates were destroyed in a warehouse mishap. The octavo editions were designed to be available "at such a price, as would enable every student or lover of nature to place it in his library" (introduction to the first edition). See (for the first edition) Bennett p. 5; Nissen IVB 51; Reese 34; Sabin 2364; McGill/Wood p. 208; Ayer/Zimmer p. 22.
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