Our 1 April auction John James Audubon: The Birds of America, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America achieved an impressive 3,770,000 USD.
The sale was led by The Birds of America (1827-38), four monumental volumes of 435 handcolored aquatint plates depicting all of the then-known species of birds found in the United States. This lot was sold for 3,525,000 USD, setting a new record for an online purchase in a live auction at Sotheby's. Viviparous Quadrupeds of America, which contains 150 handcolored lithographs of American mammals, achieved 245,000 USD.
Copies of John James Audubon’s two masterworks, consigned by the Indiana Historical Society, will be auctioned by Sotheby’s on 1 April 2014. The Birds of America (1827–38) preserves in four monumental volumes 435 handcolored aquatint plates depicting all of the then-known species of birds found in the United States. Commonly known as the “Double-Elephant Folio”—after the size of the paper that had to be specially made for the publication—The Birds of America has long been recognized as a towering achievement of both book illustration and natural history. Smaller in size and reputation, though perhaps not in significance, is Audubon’s Viviparous Quadrupeds of America, which contains 150 handcolored lithographs of American mammals, on many of which Audubon was assisted by his son John Wodehouse.