New York: George R. Lockwood, [1870-1871]. Early edition. The final complete editions of Audubon's masterpieces, printed from the same stones and stereotype plates used in the production of the original Royal octavo editions; embellished in this edition with additional background details and colors. The dating of the set is ambiguous, as Lockwood published two nearly identical issues between 1870 and 1871, one with the preface signed the other unsigned by the publisher (as the present copy). 11 volumes in the deluxe publisher's full morocco, ornately blindstamped with gilt to spines. Inner dentelles gilt. All edges brightly gilt. Marbled endpapers. Bookplates of Michael Sharpe to front pastedown of each. Complete, including 655 color lithographed plates by W. E. Hitchcock and R. Trembly after J.J. and J.W. Audubon, printed and hand finished by J.T. Bowen. In all, a handsome set.
Audubon's beautiful illustrated studies of birds and quadrupeds, here in its rare final edition. While the present works were completed using the same stones and plates as the 1840s and 1850s Royal octavo editions, later prints became impossible. Following the production of these editions, the stones were destroyed in a devastating warehouse fire. A naturalist, ornithologist, and artist, Audubon is credited with identifying over 20 previously unknown species of bird; and his beautiful, accurate paintings of wildlife sparked a movement for wildlife conservation and habitat preservation. (Item #3364)