John James Audubon book could score a $55,000 sale at Bonhams

John James Audubon is best known as the artist behind Birds of America, for a time the most expensive book ever auctioned.

Now Bonhams is set to auction another of Audubon's great works on October 18 in New York.

Quadrupeds of North America is in 31 parts across three volumes, featuring hand-coloured plates by WE Hitchcock, R Trembly and John Wodehouse Audubon.

The pages are within original buff-colored wrappers printed in black.

According to Bonhams' condition report, Part 1 has a small circular stain to its front. Restoration work includes reparation to the spines.

Despite this, the book is billed as "near pristine".

The set also boasts a remarkable provenance to match its $45,000-55,000 pre-sale estimate.

John James Audubon
John James Audubon's art from Quadrupeds of the United States

A prospectus is printed on the back wrapper of each part, describing this edition as "a miniature copy of the large edition, with figures and descriptions of the Quadrupeds of the United States (including Texas, California, and Oregon,) part of Mexico, the British and Russian Possessions and Arctic regions of our continent."

Needless to say, this will be an exciting sale.

Originally published in London, issued in 87 parts between 1827 and 1838, Audubon's Birds is today among the rarest books ever published.

A complete set of the original edition sold for $11.6m at auction in December, 2010 achieving a new World Record price for a printed book sold at auction - the highest price paid for a published book.

Watch this space for more news on Bonhams' upcoming Audubon sale.


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