American Flamingo, plate 431, Princeton Audubon Double Elephant Edition.
John James Audubon’s Birds of America
Princeton Audubon Double Elephant Edition of 1500.
26 1/4 x 39 1/4; Condition: Mint
“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!”
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.
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 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.