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Item #39167 Black American Wolf from The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. John James AUDUBON.

AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851)

Black American Wolf from The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America

New York: John James Audubon, 1845. Hand-colored lithograph by J. T. Bowen of Philadelphia after Audubon. Sheet: (21 1/4 x 27 inches).

The Black American Wolf from the first edition of Audubon's Quadrupeds, the greatest 19th-century illustrated natural history work to be produced in America: "As long as our civilization lasts, America will be in debt to this genius." [Peterson]

The Black Wolf, a color variety of the Red Wolf, is now supposedly extinct east of the Mississippi River. Its former range included much of the central and southeastern United States. "Once when we were traveling on foot not far from the southern boundary of Kentucky, we fell in with a Black Wolf following a man with a rifle on his shoulders. The man assured us it was as gentle as any dog, and that he had never met with a dog that could trail a Deer better. We were so much struck with this and the Wolf's noble appearance that we offered a hundred dollars for it, but the owner would not part with it for any price." [Audubon] This fine plate is from the folio edition of Audubon's The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, produced entirely in the United States. The work was to be Audubon's last, and by 1846 he had to hand over the drawing of the last fifty plates to his sons. The final parts of this work of national importance were published after his death in 1851. The production of the Quadrupeds was begun by Audubon and his sons at about the same as the commercially-successful octavo edition of The Birds of America. Unlike the double-elephant folio, the Quadrupeds was produced entirely in the United States. Reese notes that "By 1843 the Audubon family business was a well-oiled machine, involving John James, his two sons, Victor and John Woodhouse, and various in-laws and friends. The octavo Birds was still in production when J. T. Bowen began to produce the plates for the elephant folio edition of the Quadrupeds, the largest successful color-plate book project of 19th-century America. It took the family five years to publish 150 plates in thirty parts. The massive project was a commercial success, thanks to the close management of Victor. There were about three hundred subscribers." [Reese]

Audubon, Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, Vol. II, p.130. Bennett, p.5. Reese Stamped With A National Character 36. Sabin 2367. Wood, p.209.

Item #39167

Price: $4,500.00

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