By Appt. Alamo, CA 94507 , United States Call Seller 925.272.8170


Raccoon: An Original 19th Century Audubon Hand-colored Lithograph

$ 375
  • Description
    This is an original 19th century John James Audubon hand colored lithograph entitled "Crab-eating Raccoon", No. 31, Plate CLV, 155, from Audubon's "Quadrupeds of North America", printed and colored by J.T. Bowen and published in Philadelphia from 1849-1854. It depicts a raccoon, standing on a log that is partially submerged in water. It is looking to the left at something in tall grass.

    This antique hand-colored Audubon quadruped lithograph has a small spot in the left margin and another in the left image. There is a suggestion of additional tiny, faint, barely visible spots in the margins. The print is otherwise in very good condition. The sheet measures 6.88" high and 10.38" wide. The descriptive text pages, 272-275, from Audubon's original publication are included.

    John James Audubon (1785-1851) was a naturalist and artist. He was initially unsuccessful financially prior to the publication of his famous work “The Birds of America”, spending time in debtor’s prison, once stabbing a disgruntled investor in self-defense. However, his obsession with birds and art motivated him to persist in his goal of documenting every bird in America via his watercolor paintings and publishing his works for all to enjoy. Audubon's first illustrations were published in a large elephant folio size. Due to their expense they were purchased in rather small numbers by the wealthy. To reach a larger audience, Audubon, with the help of his sons and J. T. Bowen, published a smaller octavo sized lithograph version, which were much more affordable.

    With the success of his bird projects, Audubon then turned his attention to four-legged animals. He explored the Missouri River in 1843 sketching the four-legged animals he encountered in their natural setting. His expedition covered some of the same regions recently explored by Lewis and Clark, traveling from present day Alaska to Mexico. Audubon realized that this was an opportunity to document these animals in the still relatively pristine American wilderness, before man encroached on their environment.

    Between 1845 and 1848, Audubon and his sons John Woodhouse Audubon and Victor Gifford Audubon produced a set of elephant folio sized lithographs that were primarily engraved and hand colored by J. T. Bowen in Philadelphia. The publication, which included text descriptions of the animals was published 3 years before Audubon died. As with the birds, this was followed by a three-volume set of 155 octavo-sized plates entitled “The Quadrupeds of North America” completed and published by Audubon’s sons, John, Jr. and Victor.

    Audubon prints continue to be popular and a wise investment. The double elephant folio set “The Birds of America” have sold at auction for as much as $8.8 million, and individual plates may sell for six figures. The beautiful, but less well-known quadruped plates are not as expensive, but becoming more sought after, as the birds become unattainable to all but the very wealthy.
  • More Information
    Documentation: Signed
    Period: 18th Century
    Styles / Movements: Traditional
    Incollect Reference #: 610226
  • Dimensions
    W. 10.38 in; H. 6.88 in;
    W. 26.37 cm; H. 17.48 cm;
Message from Seller:

Timeless Intaglio is an online gallery of rare and collectable antiquarian prints, maps and books. Although we specialize in all forms of vintage printed works on paper, the majority were created with the intaglio method of transferring ink from a plate, usually copper, to paper with a technique utilizing pressure generated by a press. Email us directly:

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