The Brown Pelican
”It’s beak holds more than it’s belly can.”
John James Audubon’s Birds of America
Princeton Audubon Double Elephant Edition of 1500.
26 1/4 x 39 1/4; Condition: Mint
Nature is never out of style, so ... Feather your nest!
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“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 ...
Audubon probably drew this adult pelican in the Florida Keys in April or May 1832. Landscape artist, George Lehman, painted the mangrove limb.
The brown pelican is a ponderous bird, but with its six-and-one-half-food wingspread has a powerful flight which it alternates with short glides. The bird carries a large pouch under its lower bill and has an appetite for fish as large as the pouch. American children learn of the brown pelican through a well known bit of doggerel that begins: "What a wonderful bird is the pelican-Its beak can hold more than its belly can,..."
A long line of these birds flapping and sailing, often in unison, is a familiar coastal sight. When fishing, the birds fly aloft, spot the schools of fish, then head downwind, pull back their wings, and plunge beak-first with a grand splash.
Audubon wrote: "The brown pelicans are as well aware of the time of each return of the tide, as the most watchful pilots. Though but a short time before they have been sound asleep, yet without bell or other warning, they suddenly open their eyelids, and all leave their roosts, the instant when the waters...resume their motion."