Audubon (John James) [The Birds of America], 42 HAND-COLOURED ETCHED PLATES, WITH AQUATINT ENGRAVING, AFTER AUDUBON FROM THE ORIGINAL DOUBLE-ELEPHANT FOLIO EDITION, by William Lizars of Edinburgh, Robert Havell Sr. and Robert Havell Jr. of London, small tears to blank margins of 7 plates, slight damage to surface of image area of plate 14 and to platemark at lower right corner of plate 23, light surface soiling to plate 66, light vertical crease to plate 75, contemporary red half morocco gilt, double elephant folio (644 by 535mm.), [Edinburgh & London, published by the Author, 1827-1829]
A fine collection of plates from Audobons acknowledged masterpiece, all with fine early colouring. The plates are from the first fifteen numbers of volume I (the earliest is plate III, the last plate 75). Six plates are engraved by Lizars of Edinburgh, who began production of the work in late 1826; the others were executed by the London engravers, Robert Havell & Son, in 1827-1829. Of the Lizars plates, three (VIII, IX and X) were printed and coloured by Robert Havell, senior.
It is most probable that the collection was formed by an early subscriber. A manuscript correction on plate 50 (Error The Black and Yellow Warbler (Sylvia Maculosa) suggests that the owner was using the album in conjunction with Audubons Ornithological Biography, 1831, in which the author points out his own mistake in nomenclature (volume I, pp.260-261). All the plates present have been reduced in size by the binder, but there has been no loss of image.
The plates are numbered: III-V (Engraved by W.H. Lizars); VIII-X (Engraved by W.H. Lizars / Printed & Coloured by R. Havell, Senr.); 13, 14, XV, 18, 19, 20 (Engraved by R. Havell, Jnr, / Printed & Coloured by R. Havell, Senr.); 23-25, 28-30, 33-35 (Engraved, Printed & Coloured by R. Havell & Son); 43-45, 48-50, 53-55, 58-60, 63-65, 68-70, 73-75 (Engraved by R. Havell, Jnr. Printed & Coloured by R. Havell Snr).
References: Anker 17; Fine Bird Books, p.73; W.H. Fries, The Double Elephant Folio (Chicago, 1973), pp.246 et passim; Nissen IVB 49; Wood, p.209; Zimmer, pp.18-20.
Please note that although the plates are from the double elephant folio edition, their measurements are 644 by 535mm. as stated in the catalogue