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AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. [Volumes I-III, containing plates 1-300, lacking vol. IV]. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1836.
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AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. [Volumes I-III, containing plates 1-300, lacking vol. IV]. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1836.\n\n3 volumes, double elephant folio, vol. 1: 967 x 655 mm. (38 x 25 7/8 in.), vol. 2: 980 x 665 mm. (38½ x 26¼ in.), and vol. 3: 980 x 660 mm. (38½ x 26 in.), contemporary half russia, marbled paper boards (vol. 1 slightly shorter and with different marbled paper on covers), bindings worn and broken. Sold as a collection of plates, not subject to return.\n\nFIRST EDITION, engraved titles (vol. 2 fragmentary) and 300 (of 435) hand-colored etchings with aquatint engraving, by William Home Lizars of Edinburgh, Robert Havell, Sr. and Robert Havell, Jr. of London, after Audubon's original life-size watercolors, on J. Whatman and J. Whatman Turkey Mill paper with watermarks dated 1832-1836.\n\nCONDITION:\n211 of the 300 plates are in good or better condition. Of this number, 141 are very good to fine and without any damage. Apart from the physical defects affecting the remaining 159 plates noted below, there are some handling creases and occasional marginal soiling (mostly to larger subjects), foxing, show-through, and sheet discoloration.\n\nREFERENCES:\nAyer/Zimmer, pp. 18-20; Copenhagen/Anker 17; Fine Bird Books p. 57; W.H. Fries, The Double Elephant Folio (Chicago 1973), pp. 237 et passim; Susanne M. Low, An Index and Guide to Audubon's Birds of America (New York 1988) passim; Low, Catalogue of the New Birds of America Section of the Audubon Archives (New York 1993) passim; McGill/Wood, p. 209; Nissen IVB 49.\n\nPROVENANCE:\nThe Young Men's Association of the City of Buffalo, acquired prior to 8 February 1838 (see Fries, p. 237), which in 1886 changed its name to The Buffalo Library and, ultimately became part of The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system in 1954 -- The Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, acquired in 1996 from the preceding in exchange for the Milestones of Science collection.\n\nCondition analysis:\nVol. I: Plate 1 with two 3-inch ragged tears, a 1½-inch tear in upper blank margin at end of vertical crease, some surface abrasion on image and marginal soiling. Plate 11 chipped at lower edge with loss of three letters ("shi") in caption. Plate 46 with a 6-inch tear through caption and small loss to blank portion. Plate 81 with two 6-inch tears, one into subject. Plate 96 with three short tears, two crossing imprint. The above tears (except Plate 46) are patched on verso. 45 other plates are similarly patched, crudely repairing various nicks, tears, and severe creases with pasted down brown paper, often along lower or in gutter margins (nos. 2 [patched on recto], 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 61, 64, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 97, 98, 99, and 100). Minor unrepaired marginal chips or tears affect 20 plates (nos. 6, 21, 26, 32, 35, 41, 42, 47, 50, 51, 52, 56, 61, 64, 66, 72, 76, 78, 79, and 99). 12 plates with less severe creases (nos. 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 23, 24, 25, 60, 85, and 97). 2 plates loosely laid in with gutter margins trimmed away (nos. 37 and 73).\n\nVol. II: Plate 101 with vertical hard crease/tear into subject, abraded color areas. Plate 107 with a severe vertical crease cracked, lower corner chipped. Plate 200 is defective with much of the sheet lost. The tears above are patched on verso. 30 other plates are similarly patched, crudely repairing various nicks, tears and creases with pasted down brown paper, often along lower or in gutter margins (nos. 102, 105, 118, 120, 121, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 162, 163, 166, 169, 171, 173, 177, 184, 186, and 199). Minor unrepaired marginal chips or tears affect 15 plates (nos. 102, 123, 137, 142, 147, 160, 161, 162, 164, 175, 190, 191, 195, 196, and 198). 5 plates with less severe creases (nos. 102, 103, 106, 110, and 130). 3 plates with somewhat heavy show-through (nos. 105, 110, and 140). 8 plates with marginal offsetting from facing patches (nos. 145, 147, 149, 151, 152, 153, 172, and 178). 7 plates loosely laid in with gutter margins trimmed away (nos. 113 [deaccession stamp on verso], 121 [stamp on verso] , 131 [stamp on verso], 156, 158, 159 [stamp on verso], and 173).\n\nVol. III: Plate 201 defective with an 18 x 1-1½ in. strip lost from subject along a series of brittle vertical creases. Plate 206 with patch from previous plate extending onto gutter margin recto, patched on verso, some marginal soiling. Plate 299 with deep vertical creases and cracks. 3 plates patched on verso (nos. 204, 205, and 271). Minor unrepaired marginal chips or tears affect 20 plates (nos. 204, 205, 208, 211, 213, 217, 219, 231, 232, 245, 246, 248, 258, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, and 296). 7 plates with less severe creases (nos. 207, 248, 249, 250, 296, 297, and 298). 8 plates with somewhat heavy show-through (nos. 225, 285, 287, 290, 292, 294, 297, and 298). 6 plates with some foxing (268, 269, 274, 288, 292, and 293). One plate with marginal offsetting from facing patch (no. 202). (3)
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