James J. Audubon's "Quadrupeds of North America," 1856 edition
Appraised Value: $10,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:20)
APPRAISER: I see you have a set of Audubon's "Quadrupeds" of North America.
GUEST: Yes, yes, I do.
APPRAISER: Can you tell me how you got this?
GUEST: They actually were a gift to my great-great-grandfather, and they've just been passed down through the family to me.
APPRAISER: And I see it was given on the 31st of December, 1857.
APPRAISER: I don't know whether you know, but Audubon was dead by the time this book was published.
GUEST: That's the only thing that I know about it is that he died, I guess, halfway through the publishing of them.
APPRAISER: What happened was that his fame, of course, rests on "The Birds of America," which was published in England between 1827 and 1838. And a copy of that in complete state is worth in the $5 million to $10 million bracket.
GUEST: Oh, my, wow.
APPRAISER: What happened afterwards is that he wanted to make an edition of "The Birds of America" that the general public could afford.
GUEST: Okay. Oh.
APPRAISER: Following the success of that book, he envisaged a similar project for “The Quadrupeds of North America.” And he, with the help of his sons, John Woodhouse and Victor, made a similar book with about 155 plates, as opposed to the 500 that were in the “Birds.”
GUEST: Oh, wow.
APPRAISER: But really, mostly, it's the work of his son John Woodhouse, who did the illustrations for this.
APPRAISER: Audubon died in 1851, and the large folio version of the “Quadrupeds” was first published in 1846.
APPRAISER: Here, ten years later, we get the edition for the people-- the people's edition of the book.
GUEST: Oh, I see.
APPRAISER: And... you've got some dramatic plates. And I note that the binding-- it's been carefully preserved. It's been re-backed. The value of these three volumes is considerably less than the large folio,
APPRAISER: but the value of these three volumes at auction is around $10,000.
GUEST: Oh, really? Wow. That's amazing.
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