AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851.
The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories. New York: J.J. Audubon / Philadelphia: J.B. Chevalier, 1840-44.
7 volumes. 8vo (258 x 160 mm). Half title and list of subscribers in each volume. 500 hand-colored lithographed plates printed by J.T. Bowen, illustrations in text. Period crushed purple morocco, gilt lettering and ruling to spines, gilt borders, dentelles and edges, marbled endpapers. Plates largely clean with some faint foxing touching a few margins, some mild toning to plates of first three volumes, loss to corner of one plate obscuring printers imprint and number shaved from one other, scattered foxing to text and tissue guards (most heavily to first three volumes), minor tears to margins affecting text in three or four spots, bindings rubbed and worn at extremities.
Provenance: J. Gregory Smith [1818-1891], railroad magnate and Vermont Governor from 1863 to 1865 (bookplates); thence by descent to current owner.
First octavo edition. "First and most desirable" octavo edition (Sabin), issued to subscribers in 100 parts, each containing five lithographs, with the text "much improved" (Herrick) from the companion volumes to the double elephant folio. Herrick 4; Sabin 2364.