The final octavo edition of John James Audubon's The Birds of America is considered the most difficult to obtain, making a copy's appearance at Bonhams, California, on February 17 of considerable note.
The circa 1870 eight-volume, hand coloured work sold securely within its $10,000-15,000 estimate, bringing an impressive $12,500.
Although Audubon made his name with the spectacular and spectacularly cumbersome double-elephant folio (1827-1838), the various editions of the so called "Octavo-Audubon" cemented his reputation, having been more affordable and therefore more widely distributed throughout the United States.
The final octavo edition is particularly hard to come by as the Lockwood firm responsible for printing the tome lost most of the prints when a floor in its Philadelphia printing works collapsed.
February is poised to be an exciting month for those invested in the rare books market, as a seldom seen edition of Thomas and William Daniell's Oriental Scenery is to auction at Sotheby's on February 28.
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