The Carolina Turtledove
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 ...
Probably painted about 1825 in Louisiana. The pair of birds at bottom was apparently done first, since the limb on which the topmost bird sits is not connected to the branch on which its mate is perched.
In this painting Audubon attempted, as he wrote, to give "a faithful representation of two as gentle pairs of Turtles [doves] as ever cooed their loves in the green woods. I have placed them on a branch of Stuartia, which you see ornamented with a profusion of white blossoms, emblematic of purity and chastity."
Though this bird was known to Audubon as the Carolina turtle dove, its modern name is much more appropriate, for it is found throughout the United Sates and its call suggests hopeless sorrow. This abundant and widespread bird is equally at home in suburbs and farmlands, and the sharp whistling of its wings as it takes flight is as familiar as its mournful call.