NEW YORK – Following back-to-back record-breaking sales of John James Audubon’s aquatint engravings of the Birds of America, Arader Galleries will conduct their next auction on Saturday, March 31, at 1 p.m. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
This sale features 145 lots of natural history works on paper, rare books and historic maps. The first 57 lots feature works from both John James Audubon’s Birds of America and Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. Highlights include lot 9, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (above), one of the most desirable of all Audubon’s extinct birds. The auction allows buyers the opportunity to purchase the Baltimore Oriole (Lot 16) aquatint by Audubon as well as a rare example of Joseph Kidd’s oil painting of the same subject (below), made as a later collaborative work between the two artists.
The quadrupeds available are of the highest quality with exceptional and brilliant hand coloring. The Common American Wildcat is an example of the intricate gradation and dimensionality of the hand-coloring.
The sale continues with an offering of watercolors of botanical and ornithological subjects, including Basil Ede’s masterpiece, Great Horned Owl (Lot 59), a dramatic and haunting portrait of two great birds perched on a branch.
The section of rare books includes quality examples from atlases to color-plate books. Ptolemy’s Geographie published in 1513 (Lot 102) is the first modern edition of the atlas and the most important of all his editions, having the first map in an atlas devoted entirely to America. Mark Catesby’s The Natural History of Carolina … (Lot 97) is the most famous color-plate book of American flora and fauna and a staple for any collector of the genre.
The sale concludes with a diverse section of antique maps including a rare set of maps of Asia by Giacomo Gastaldi (Lot 124), a master of Venetian cartography. Pirro Ligorio’s map of Greece (Lot 117) is another cartographic rarity of the Italian school, presenting the country in a unique geographical form independent of other contemporary maps.
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