270
270
Audubon, John James
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 5,313 USD
JUMP TO LOT
270
Audubon, John James
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 5,313 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

|
New York

Audubon, John James
Autograph letter signed ("John J. Audubon"), 3 pages (9 x 7 3/8 in.; 231 x 188 mm) on a bifolium, Liverpool, 14 December 1827, to Prideaux John Selby (at Twizell House, Northumberland), autograph address panel on verso of second leaf; silked, closing several tears, seal tear and loss. Half maroon morocco folding-case, green morocco labels.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Sotheby Parke Bernet, 24 November 1980, lot 81 (undesignated consignor)

Catalogue Note

Audubon reports on the progress of The Birds of America to his great British colleague, P. J. Selby. After apologizing for a lapse in his correspondence, Audubon tallies up recent subscriptions to his magnificent ornithology: "untill now I had neither the Inclination nor the wish to write in bad humor which must have been my case on finding that my Good Wife had abandoned crossing the Ocean this Season and postponed her voyage to next Spring. ... After leaving your charming Twizel I travelled as fast as the horses drew the coaches, yet I procured 5 subscribers before reaching this and 3 since then.—I hope the 4th number is now lying in your Port Folio waiting patiently for the 15 years that must Elapse before it will be as lost in the general congregation of the Birds of America. Since leaving here I have had positive assurances that my friend Charles Bonaparte was about leaving America for ever to remove to Florence, Italy." The Liverpool subscribers that Audubon enlisted were Mrs. John Foster, Dr. Bickersteth, and John Rutter, M.D.

He also gives Selby a detailed description of a South American bird he has seen for the first time. "I went to see a rare and extremely beatifull specimen of Genus Falco, called in the Andes of which it is a native 'The Crowned Eagle'—it is a superb Bird rather larger than the Bird of Washington with legs that measure 1/2 Inch in diameter—its head is advanced with a kind of fan shaped crest composed of plumes full of pricks. The upper portion of the body & wings are brown—the Lower White—Legs Yellow, claws black—bill Lead in color, ears yellow, strong hook'd beak not larger than your own female Golden Eagle ... I wished I had it, I would send it you, but I fear the owner looks upon it as being invaluable, equal to a Mass of pure gold the Size of the Immense Mountains that gave it birth."

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

|
New York