AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851.
The Birds of America, from drawings made in the United States and their territories. New York: George R. Lockwood, late Roe, Lockwood & Son, n.d. [1870-1871].
8 volumes. Royal 8vo (262 x 172 mm). Half-titles. 500 hand-colored lithographed plates after Audubon by W.E. Hitchcock, R. Trembley and others, numerous wood-engraved illustrations. Original brown morocco, covers blocked with elaborate blind-stamped panels, spines tooled in blind with gilt lettering, gilt turn-ins, gilt edges. Some foxing, mostly to margins and at ends but lightly affecting about one third of the plates and heavier to about 50 plates, bindings with some scuffing to extremities, small splits to joints of vols I and II.
THE FINAL OCTAVO EDITION OF AUDUBON'S GREAT WORK, and the most difficult to obtain. The Lockwood firm apparently lost most of the octavo prints for this edition when a floor in their Philadelphia printing shop collapsed, according to Ron Tyler in his Audubon's Great National Work (1993). Although Audubon built his reputation on the massive and spectacular double-elephant folio, it is through the widespread influence of the various editions of the so-called "Octavo Audubon" that his reputation as the great American ornithologist has endured. Nissen IVB 52; Sabin 2364.