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Item #34650 Canvas Backed Duck from The Birds of America. John James AUDUBON.

AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851)

Canvas Backed Duck from The Birds of America

[Pl. CCCI] London: 1836. Hand-colored etching with aquatint and line-engraving by Robert Havell, Jr., after Audubon. Finely framed in bird's-eye maple frame with a museum-quality 8-ply white mat. Sheet: (25 5/8 x 39 1/8 inches). Framed: (35 x 46 5/8 inches).

A truly spectacular triple portrait of these beautiful ducks with an important view of early nineteenth-century Baltimore in the background. The three birds gaze warily at the viewer: one male pauses, his neck extended as he takes a drink, the second male paddles slowly in the water to keep his position against the tide with his strong webbed feet, the female looks to find a safe place to enter the relative safety of the water. In the background, the shorefront of Baltimore is crowded with buildings, while numerous sailing vessels sit in the safehaven of Chesapeake Bay. "The range of this celebrated Duck may be considered as limited on the one hand by the mouths of the Mississippi, and on the other by the Hudson or North river. The flight of this species is strong, rapid, at times very elevated, and well sustained. It swims deeply, especially when under apprehension of danger, and this probably the better to enable it to escape by diving, at which it is almost as expert as our sea or diving Ducks. In the back ground is a view of Baltimore, which I have had great pleasure in introducing, on account of the hospitality which I have there experienced, and the generosity of its inhabitants, who, on the occasion of a quantity of my plates having been destroyed by the mob during an outburst of political feeling, indemnified me for the loss." [Audubon] "Traditionally, the canvasback has been regarded by the epicure sportsmen as the aristocrat of waterfowl, whose flesh on the table is second to none. Audubon did not agree with this evaluation, rating several other ducks as superior. The canvasback is a prairie duck in summer, but in winter one of its main resorts is the Chesapeake." [Peterson]

Audubon, The Birds of America VI, pp.299-308. Bennett, p.5. Fries, Appendix A. Low, p.159. Nissen IVB, 51. Peterson, Audubon's Birds of America 68. Ripley 13. Sabin 2364. Tyler, Audubon's Great National Work, Appendix I. Wood, p.208. Zimmer, p.22.

Item #34650

Price: $50,000.00

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