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Scarce Original Audubon Havell Edition Plate, The

Lot 0014 Details

Description
Description: Audubon John

Scarce Original Audubon Havell Edition Plate, The Long-Legged Avocet CCCXXVIII on Elephant Paper.

Audubon, John James (1785-1851) Long-legged Avocet, Plate CCCXXVIII. [from] Birds of America. London: R. Havell, 1826-1838. Hand-aquatinted copper-plate engraving, Elephant portfolio size, with requisite "J. WHATMAN" watermark, dated "1837". The original sheet was wrapped about a board, and then taped along the very outer edges, leaving about 27.5" x 22" visible by sight with the balance of the sheet wrapped around to the underside of the board. The entire piece was removed from the board, however the crease lines became brittle with age and sustained breakage along the crease. The balance of the sheet remains supple. The plate has slight color fading to the pink legs leaving them more of a nude tone, slight mat burn and overall lightly grubby which could be professionally cleaned. However we have found only two examples of this specific original Audubon Havell plate having been sold in the last 20 years, with one such example sold at Christies in 2004 for over $6,000.

The superb Havell Audubon plates were originally intact as bound book volumes. Today, about 110 of these sets remain intact as bound book volumes owned by museums, institutions, and private individuals. The last recorded sale for a complete 4 volume bound set was $8.8 million. Individual prints sell for from several thousand dollars each up to $200,000.00 or more. These are the most widely and frequently reproduced and copied of all the original Audubon prints. The Audubon Havell Edition prints are hand colored aquatint copper-plate engravings. Each print will have a plate mark. A plate # was printed in the upper right corner in Roman numerals. The watermark is best known of all authentication criteria; of the major Audubon editions, it applies only to Havells. The paper used for the Havell Edition was of two types, J WHATMAN and J WHATMAN TURKEY MILL. Both types of paper had a watermark that can usually be seen when the print is backlit. The importance of the watermark cannot be overstated. Due to the sheer original size of these plates, they can often be found trimmed in order to be framed, and if an original Havell Edition print is trimmed so that there is no longer evidence of the plate mark or watermark, this is one rare case where you cannot positively self-authenticate the originality of the print. The watermark on the piece offered here is located along the top of the plate and is visible when back lit.

A lovely fantastic sought after piece. Avocets usually prefer watery habitats and reside near fresh water and salt-water marshlands, coastal areas and beaches. One of the avocet bird facts is that it is widely distributed on the bases of its species. For instance, Pied Avocet is largely found in Europe and Asia whereas, Pacific coast of North America is home to many American Avocets.


This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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Scarce Original Audubon Havell Edition Plate, The

Estimate $1,200 - $1,500Jun 26, 2019
Starting Price $400
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Ships fromWestport , CT, United States
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