John James Audubon works showcased at Guernsey's


2015-06-26 13:15:43


John James Audubon works showcased at Guernsey's

150 original engravings from John James Audubon will see high bids on May 11

Guernsey's will showcase 150 original aquatint engravings by John James Audubon in a dedicated auction to be held May 11 in New York.

Audubon Male TurkeyGuernsey's has previously sold another example of Audubon's Male Turkey for $170,800 in December 2012 - a good sign for the current lot

The Havell Edition double elephant folio-sized works, many of which are in pristine condition, will be led by a depiction of a male turkey from Audubon's renowned Birds of America book. Selling at $100,000-125,000, it is joined by a series of prints from Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.

Birds of America, published in a series between 1827 and 1838, consists of hand-coloured life-size prints of America's wildlife, including six now-extinct birds. It is currently the world's most valuable printed book, after an example sold for $11.2m in 2010.

Further highlights include Audubon's Snowy Owl, which is valued at $100,000-150,000. According to Guernsey's, another example of this print - one of the most prized in Audubon's oeuvre - sold for $186,700 at Christie's in 2004.

Of Audubon's quadrupeds, the Canada lynx takes the lead with an estimate of $10,000-12,000. It is followed by the American black bear, which will sell for $7,000-8,000.

Also starring in the sale is a collection of fine botanical prints by Pierre-Joseph Redoute, the Belgian botanist nicknamed The Raphael of Flowers. Redoute was the official artist of Queen Marie Antoinette, in a time when Paris was the cultural and scientific centre of Europe.

His fantastically vivid depiction of Bracteose Pitcairnea holds the highest estimate of his works at $40,000-50,000. The current world record for Redoute is held by a watercolour rose that sold for 265,000 ($412,186) in 2010.

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