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John James Audubon Prints - Originals and world-class re-creations. 908.510.1621

We feature The Princeton Audubon Double Elephant Edition - The world’s only direct camera Audubon prints. “With their astounding detail, definition, and color, the Princeton direct-camera facsimiles have long set the standard in Audubon Birds of America lithographs." - Louise Mirrer, The New-York Historical Society.

Between 1827 and 1838, John James Audubon, brilliant artist and naturalist, published in London, England, in his own style, a series of 435 large-sized, hand-colored etchings with aquatints in a folio entitled The Birds of America. These were reproduced primarily by Robert Havell and Sons from Audubon’s watercolor studies that he had earlier composed during his several journeys throughout the young United States. We purchased these engravings and produced The Princeton Audubon Double Elephant Edition.

When setting forth on this great project, Audubon wrote ... "...nothing, after all, could ever answer my enthusiastic desires to represent nature, except to copy her in her own way, alive and moving!" This is part the great appeal of Audubon’s life size prints, their being filled with action and the drama of life!

"Of all the Audubon reproductions, Princetons come the closest in appearance and quality to the originals." - Chris Lane, owner of Philadelphia Print Shop West and frequent guest appraiser on PBS Antiques Roadshow.

Princeton Audubon Double Elephant Edition, Double elephant (life size - 26 1/4 x 39 1/4) •Limited edition of 1500. •Pencil-numbered and embossed with the Princeton Audubon Limited seal. •Up to 11 color plates used. •Specially developed fade-proof inks. Absolute color fidelity to the actual original. •Printed on a 300 line. •Very heavy archival paper which is recommended by the Library of Congress for archives and is specially toned to match the actual color of the antique originals. •Registered to purchaser. •As permanently displayed at The Royal Society of London, to which Audubon belonged as a Fellow.

An early observation ...

"Today I saw the swiftest skater I ever beheld; backwards and forwards he went like the wind, even leaping over large air-holes fifteen or more feet across, and continuing to skate without an instant's delay. I was told he was a young Frenchman, and this evening I met him at a ball, where I found his dancing exceeded his skating; all the ladies wished him as a partner; moreover, a handsomer man I never saw, his eyes alone command attention; his name, Audubon, is strange to me.“ - David Pawling, Mill Grove PA., January 1805, on 19 year old John James Audubon.

About Princeton Audubon

Princeton Audubon Limited was founded in 1985 by the late David Johnson, a collector of superb Audubon originals who also founded the days paramount printing company - Princeton Polychrome Press in Princeton, New Jersey. This company, now sold, achieved an enviable nationwide reputation by reproducing fine art prints for the National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Detroit Institute of Arts. The finest reproductions of Picasso and Andrew Wythe that you occasionally see on the market today were produced by Princeton. Read more.

“True prints, true colors, incredible detail. Princetons are simply the finest Audubon facsimiles ever made!” - William Steiner, author of Audubon Prints: A Collector’s Guide To Every Edition.

"Having studied drawing for a short while in my youth under good masters, I felt a great desire to make choice of a style more particularly adapted to the imitation of feathers than the drawings in water colours that I had been in the habit of seeing, and moreover, to complete a collection not only valuable to the scientific class, but pleasing to every person, by adopting a different course of representation from the mere profile-like cut figures, given usually in works of that kind." - John James Audubon presenting his vision.

Did you know ...?

All birds in the foreground of Audubon’s double elephant compositions are always life size, exactly as they are seen in nature, to which he adds, "Merely to say, that each of my illustrations is of the size of nature, were too vague ... Not only is every object, as a whole, of the natural size, but also every portion of each object. The compass aided me in its delineation, regulated and corrected each part, ... The bill, the feet, the legs, the claws, the very feathers as they project one beyond another, have been accurately measured." John James Audubon. Ornithological Biography, Volume 1. Larger birds were often presented in feeding positions in order to fit within the paper. Interestingly, the unique plate number (from 1 to 435) appearing at the top right above each larger bird will always end with a 1 or 6. Why? Audubon released prints to subscribers in groups of five, with the first print in each group generally a large bird or a full page composition. Plate number one in the first grouping of five prints was the huge male Wild Turkey. The first plate number in the second grouping of five, plate six, was the equally large female Wild Turkey.

You may find these (click here) early Audubon drawings of interest.

Departing from his earlier representation of birds, Audubon developed a more nature oriented style, capturing the drama of life. "...nothing, after all, could ever answer my enthusiastic desires to represent nature, except to copy her in her own way, alive and moving!" - John James Audubon

Audubon references

Audubon information you can use.

Audubon Octavo Print “States” Versus “Editions”, Plus Valuations, Collecting, and the Marketplace.

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A Brief Introduction to Audubon and the Original Editions

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Do You Really Own A 1st Edition Octavo Quad Print?

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A Bien Reissue?

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