Audubon’s Great Blue Heron to headline naturalist sale in New York



2015-06-26 13:36:17

Audubons Great Blue Heron to headline naturalist sale in New York

The Great Blue Heron, plate 211 of Audubons Birds of America, is valued at $150,000

The Great Blue Heron, plate 211 of James John Audubon's Birds of America, is to auction at Guernsey's in New York with a $100,000-150,000 estimate.

The first edition, hand-coloured aquatint will headline a sale of pieces related to the world of natural history titled: Naturalism in the Time of Audubon.

Great Blue Heron Guernsey's The Great Blue Heron is one of Audubon's most celebrated illustrations

Audubon (1785-1851) was a naturalist and painter best known for his extensive study of American birds, a project that he began in 1820 - publishing his illustrations intermittently via a subscription.

A large portfolio containing 435 hand-coloured engravings was eventually released in 1838. Only 200 wereissued at a cost of $870 - around $21,750 today.

In 2010, a copy of Birds of America achieved 7.3m ($11.5m) at Sotheby's London - making it the world's second most valuable book.

A number of other plates from Audubon's magnum opus will feature in the January 25 sale, including a depiction of the Carolina parrot (valued at $90,000-110,000) and the Virginian partridge ($70,000-90,000).

Hypoxius luzulaefolia by the Belgian artist Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759-1840) is another highlight, estimated at $50,000-60,000.

Redoute was considered one of the finest botanical artists of his era, and in the early 1800s became the official artist to the Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon - whom he had accompanied to Egypt in 1798.

You can view our art and photography range here.

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