James J. Audubon’s ”Quadrupeds of North America,“ 1856 edition

Value (2006) | $10,000 Auction

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.

GUEST:
Yes.

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.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
Audubon died in 1851, and the large folio version of the “Quadrupeds” was first published in 1846.

GUEST:
Okay.

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,

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
but the value of these three volumes at auction is around $10,000.

GUEST:
Oh, really? Wow. That's amazing.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bloomsbury Auctions
London, England
Appraised value (2006)
$10,000 Auction
Event
Tucson, AZ (June 17, 2006)
Period
19th Century

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