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The Bird-man


With his gun, artist's materials, and a young assistant, John James Audubon (1785-1851) walked around America and Canada and attempted to paint and describe all the birds on the continent. He was intent on re-creating a convincing, detailed, and undistorted impression of the natural world as he had observed it. While he failed to paint all of them, his achievement, a collection of 435 life-size prints, was eventually taken to England where its publication met with immediate success. His Birds of America (1827-1838), a five volume double-elephant folio work, with prints measuring 30 by 40 inches, is now an exceedingly rare book. Originally sold for $1,000 per set; copies in recent times have exceeded US$3 million. This book was an other transfer item from Leith Street Lending.

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An exhibition of illustrations of birds


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