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      Sale 2464 | Lot 308
      Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
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      • Sale 2464 Lot 308

        AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. Ornithological Biography, or An Account of the Habits of the Birds of the United States of America; Accompanied by Descriptions of the Objects Represented in the Work Entitled The Birds of America. with the rare prospectus at the end of volume 1 (corresponding to Fries edition E, dated 1831 including a list of the first 100 engraved plates, extracts from the Cuvier and Swainson reviews and names of 180 subscribers.) 5 volumes. 8vo, 9 3/4x6 inches, contemporary green calf over marbled paper covered boards, red morocco spine labels, all edges marbled, a little rubbed but would polish nicely; clean. Provenance: contemporary ink ownership signature of Thomas Hardwicke. Edinburgh; London: Adam & Charles Black; Robert Havell, Jun. and others, 1831-1839

        Estimate $4,000 - 6,000

        "For a period of nearly twenty years, my life was a succession of vicissitudes… I undertook long and tedious journeys, ransacked the woods, the lakes, the prairies, and the shores of the Atlantic… I had no other object in view, than simply to enjoy the sight of nature" (Audubon.)

        First edition of the separately issued text to accompany the double elephant folio Birds of America. By publishing his text separate from the plates Audubon circumvented the British Copyright Act of 1709 requiring the deposit of a British published book into the holdings of nine separate British libraries. As there were no such requirements for purely illustrated works Audubon saved himself the considerable expense of presenting nine gratis copies of his engravings.

        The ownership signature of "Thos. Hardwicke" appearing on the title-page of volume one may signify Major-General Thomas Hardwicke, a noted British naturalist and listed subscriber to the Birds of America. Howes A389; Low, Guide page 5; Fries, page 389.