This is the first bound edition of 150 rare Audubon prints, a book project launched in 1858, but abandoned because of the Civil War. An oversized elephant folio at 21 1/4" tall, known as the Bien Edition, it marks the first reproduction of John James Audubon's classic Birds of America using the early 19th century's chromolithography technique. Perceived as an advancement in printmaking that could better reproduce color consistency (impossible to achieve in individually hand-colored prints), chromolithography required a time-consuming transfer of the original copper plates to new stones, but time ran out when the Civil War began. Capturing the unique plumage, physique, and habitats of species, including the Wild Turkey, Great Auk, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Scaup duck, this handsome first-edition book has an elegant cloth binding and protective slip case. Hardcover; 256 pages. 21 1/4" H x 14 1/4" W x 2" D. (15 1/3 lbs.)
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