American White Pelican. Printer's proof. (Edition limit reached) World's only direct camera edition of this stately image.
American White Pelican Printer's Proof
John James Audubon’s Birds of America
Princeton Audubon Double Elephant Edition of 500. Our edition limit has been reached, however we have a few printer's proofs that will be numbered 0/500. These should be purchased for their beauty and quality, but not for resale value.
26 1/4 x 39 1/4; Condition: Mint
Nature is never out of style, so ... Feather your nest!
Thank you for visiting Princeton Audubon!
“Of all the full-size facsimiles of Audubon's prints, those from Princeton Audubon Ltd. come the closest in appearance and quality to the originals. Combining this with their very reasonable cost makes Princeton Audubon facsimiles winners for those looking to acquire some of the most dramatic American natural history images ever produced." - Chris Lane, Philadelphia Print Shop West, appraiser on Antiques Roadshow.
Of our prints, William Steiner, author of Audubon Prints: A Collector’s Guide To Every Edition wrote, “True prints, true colors, incredible detail. Princetons are simply the finest Audubon facsimiles ever made!”
We purchased the actual antique originals in order to accurately produce this award-winning edition, giving you a connection to Audubon’s original work. Read more ...
In order to create this spectacular print, we needed to purchase the actual original. Measuring more than two feet by three feet, the birds are the same size as in life.
Princetons began with the purchase of the actual originals which were physically used in the production process. A giant camera with film the same size as the print took a direct-capture picture of the original, and this exact image was transferred directly to the metal printing plates. There are no other Audubon facsimiles which match the quality of Princeton prints.
Our prints have this embossed seal at the lower right of the paper ...
... and are pencil-numbered in the lower left under the printed script.
Here are the printing specifications ...
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 ...
Special award: In Audubon's day, Philadelphia was the center of publishing in the young United States. Today it is the headquarters of Neographics, a professional Graphic Arts Association of printers and lithographers from the surrounding 62 county area. In 1987, the print you are looking at won their "Nth" award, or Best in Show. Some say it may be the finest Audubon re-creation ever produced.
Based on a composition painted perhaps in Florida in 1831 or 1832. Landscape artist, George Lehman, worked on the background.
The white pelican, with a wingspread of nine feet, does not plunge for food like the brown pelican, but fishes as it swims along, using the large bag that hangs from he lower part of its bill as a dip-net. It often gathers in groups for cooperative fishing. It nests for the most part far inland in the western half of the continent.
Audubon wrote: "Ranged along the margins of the sand-bar, in broken array, stand a hundred heavy-bodied Pelicans...Pluming themselves, the gorged Pelicans patiently wait the return of hunger. Should one chance to gape, all, as if by sympathy, in succession open their long and broad mandibles, yawning lazily and ludicrously...But mark, the red beams of the setting sun tinge the tall tops of the forest trees; the birds experience the cravings of hunger...they rise on their columnar legs, and heavily waddle to the water...And now the Pelicans...drive the little fishes toward the shallow shore, and then, with their enormous pouches spread like so many bag-nets, scoop them out and devour them in thousands.