Princeton Audubon Print American Flamingo
This is a Princeton Audubon Double Elephant Edition American Flamingo, the world's only direct-camera lithograph of this impressive image from John James Audubon's Birds of America. The whole print measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4 inches on heavy archival paper which is specially toned to match the average color of the existing originals. Princetons are said to be the finest of all Audubon prints, likely because we purchased an actual original to accurately produce this spectacular image, giving you a connection to the original work of Audubon.
Audubon saw several flocks of American flamingos in the Florida Keys in 1832, and while anxious to obtain a specimen from which to make a painting, he was never able to shoot one. During a stay in London, he wrote repeatedly to his friend John Bachman, a Lutheran minister in Charleston, South Carolina, asking for a specimen. In a letter dated October 31, 1837, he said: “As to flamingos their Eggs &c I fear this is up for me; and this proves to me now that I was a great fool not to have gone to Cuba, or sent a person there expressly….”
Fortunately, it wasn’t “up” for him after all. He finally obtained specimens from Cuba and made the drawing for this Havell plate in London in 1838.
The flamingo’s highly specialized manner of feeding is as noteworthy as its dramatic coloring. The bird plunges its head underwater upside down, then with the upper bill of its sickle-shaped beak serving as a dredge and the tongue as a sieve, it scoops small shellfish from the bottom of shallow lagoons.