The American Flamingo
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.
About the image itself ...
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 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.