New York: V.G. Audubon, 1859. Leather. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #005472
1859. Third edition of the Royal Octavo ( 7 x 10.75 inches). Volume One only. Publisher's deluxe full leather with title and decorative floral border stamped in blind on front and rear, gilt title, author and volume number on spine, all edges gilt, comb marbled end papers. viii, (1), 12-246 pp, illustrated with 70 hand-colored stone lithograph plates with all tissue guards present. Overall close to Near Fine. The plates are remarkably clean and handsome with bright color and only some very light finger-soiling to a few. A few text leaves have minor light scattered foxing to the fore edge margin. The binding has some very light rubbing to the tips and joints. A beautiful copy. This volume contains many of the most sought after species including Vultures, Hawks, Eagles, Owls, Swifts, Swallows and Flycatchers with such great individual plates as The White-Headed Eagle (Bald Eagle), The Snowy Owl, Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl Sparrow Hawk, Gyr Falcon, Black Vulture, Chimney Swallow, The Common Osprey or Fish Hawk, and many others. **** This Third edition of the Royal Octavo edition of Audubon's The Birds of America, was the last edition to be published by his sons, Victor Gifford and John Woodhouse Audubon. The Royal Octavo edition was conceived by John James Audubon so as to be available to a broader range of customers and institutions; being smaller than the original Double Elephant Folio (Havell), it was less expensive to produce and much less to purchase. It was a commercial success, and was far more profitable to the family than the Havell edition (which sold about 180 sets). The number of species was increased from 489 (depicted on 435 plates) to 500 species, each depicted now on its own plate. The most celebrated and influential American color plate book of the 19th century. ****.