Purple Heron, plate 256, Princeton Audubon Double Elephant Edition. 26 1/4 x 39 1/4. This print initiated the New York Times online store some years back and is now close to sold out status.
The Purple Heron or Reddish Egret
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 drew both the birds and the background in Florida in April 1832. When he first saw them in the Keys, he puzzled at their coloration: “Some of them were as white as driven snow, the rest of a delicate purplish tint, inclining to grey on the back and wings, with heads and necks of a curious reddish colour. Males and females there were, but they were all of one species…” He concluded that those with white plumage were immature birds. He was incorrect, since in this species, coloring depends on the individual and has no relation to either age or sex. It is dimorphic and displays two color phases, one white, the other purplish blue. The birds illustrated here are both adults.
The reddish egret inhabits shallow, open salt pans. When wading, it often rakes the bottom with one foot to stir up the prey and when pursuing fish, it has a habit of spreading its wings in a canopy, then running, hopping, and cavorting in a curious dance.