Audubon’s ‘Birds’ flock to Arader auction Oct. 10

Audubon’s ‘Birds’

John James Audubon (1785-1851), ‘Great Blue Heron,’ Plate 211. Aquatint engraving with original hand color. London: Robert Havell, 1827-1838. 38½ x 25½ sheet. Estimate: $250,000-$350,000. Arader Galleries image

NEW YORK – On Oct. 10, Arader Galleries will to host the finest sale in the business’s 40-year history, in which W. Graham Arader III presents the most important and seminal works of art collected over the course of his career. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

This 192-lot auction features exquisite prints from our renowned collection of Audubon’s Birds of America, a superb collection of paintings by pioneering artists of natural history, as well as our finest assortment of rare and historically influential maps and atlases.

The sale begins with 32 of the most desirable aquatints from John James Audubon’s Birds of America. This selection includes two of Audubon’s and Havell’s most brilliant compositions, both of which feature now-extinct birds: the Carolina Parrot (Lot 22) and the Summer or Wood Duck (Lot 26). Audubon’s most iconic image, the Great Blue Heron (above), is exemplary of Audubon’s artistic prowess: positioned on the shore among the reeds, the heron’s massive figure stretches to the very edges of the elephant-folio plate. Holding its wings flexed and neck readied for an attack on an unsuspecting small fish or amphibian, the Great Blue Heron strikes a memorable pose.

Following the Audubons, Arader offers the three greatest chronicles of 18th-century Pacific Voyages of Discovery: Voyage de La Perouse (Lot 37), Captain Cook’s Three Voyages (below), and a first edition of Vancouver’s Discovery of the North Pacific Ocean (Lot 39).

Audubon’s ‘Birds’

Captain James Cook (1728-1779), set of the three voyages comprising … London: 1773-1785. Estimate: $40,000-$60,000. Arader Galleries image

Also noteworthy is this sale’s selection of natural history watercolors (Lots 40-99), which features some of the most influential artists of their age: Pierre-Joseph Redoute, Ferdinand Bauer, Susan Falkner Bury, Barbara Regina Dietzsch, George Ehret, Louis Fuertes, Jacques Le Moyne, Edward Lear, Maria Sibylla Merian, Joseph Wolf and more.

Audubon’s ‘Birds’

Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759-1840), watercolor for plate 456, ‘Bromella ananas (Cultivated Pineapple, watercolor and graphite on vellum.’ Prepared for ‘Les Liliacees,’ circa 1802-1816, 18¾ x 13¾in, vellum; 28 x 22¼in framed. Estimate: $450,000-$550,000. Arader Galleries image

What follows is a unique offering of the naissance of America, which includes the earliest views of Washington, D.C. (Lots  104-105) by George Jacob Beck – George Washington’s favorite artist – and early views of Boston and New York by one of America’s foremost landscape artists, John William Hill (Lots 109-111). Lots 113-115 are stunning oils of Philadelphia, New York and Boston by Thomas Birch, one of the earliest American marine painters.

A selection of historically significant and extremely rare cartographic works serves as an impressive conclusion to this fine sale. To cover the impressive cartographic scope of the catalog, Arader asked John Rennie Short, one of the world’s leading geographers, to lend his expertise to the description of specific lots. Lots 119 –170 include a range of 16th and 17th century explorations of the Americas, Asia and Australia, to 18th & 19th century maps of Colonial America, Canada and the American West.

Audubon’s ‘Birds’

Jean-Baptiste Benard De La Harpe, (1683-1765), ‘Carte Nouvelle De La Partie De L’ouest De La Louisianne’. Manuscript map with watercolor wash. Paris, circa 1722-1725, 22 5/8 x 36¾in sheet on two joined sheets, 31¾ x 45¾in framed. Estimate: $800,000-$1.2 million. Arader Galleries image

For the sale’s finale, Arader highlights a magnificent offering of Old Master paintings and drawings: two 16th century portraits of Elizabeth of Valios (Lots 175-176), four works by Francois Clouet including a portrait of King Charles IX (Lot 179), and a beautiful portrait of Abraham Ortelius – the famed geographer credited with the invention of the modern atlas – by Adrien Thomaszoon Key (below).

Audubon’s ‘Birds’

Adrien Thomaszoon Key, (circa 1544-after 1589), ‘Abraham Ortelius,’ oil on panel, 17 1/8 x 14in panel, 22¼ x 18¾in framed. Estimate: $400,000-$450,000. Arader Galleries image

Live bidding for Arader Galleries’ auction on Saturday, Oct. 10, will begin at 1 p.m. EDT.

For additional information, condition reports, and hi-res images, contact the gallery by email, or by phone 212-628-7625.


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