Saturday, February 18, 2012

Waverly's March 1 auction features complete 1st edition of Audubon's Birds of America

FALLS CHURCH, VA.- The premier attraction of Waverly’s March 1 Fine and Rare Books, Maps & Manuscripts auction is an 1840 first edition of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America. It comes with provenance from the Washington, DC-area collection of Charles Truitt and is estimated at $40,000-$60,000. 

Known as an “octavo” edition, the 9-inch-tall book is especially desirable because it is complete, with all 500 illustrations present. 

“Usually Audubon editions of this type are pilfered for their famous and decorative illustrations, which people frame and display. This one is special because it is 100 percent complete,” said Waverly’s specialist Anson Brown. 

The consignor of the Audubon book is Charles Truitt’s son, who has kept and cared for the important book from his father’s collection for many years. He has also consigned to auction an edition of John James Audubon and John Bachman’s The Quadrapeds of North America. It is estimated at $3,000-$6,000. 

Another highlight of the 215-lot sale is a circa-1900 fully leather-bound edition of The Life of Napoleon, which came to Waverly’s from a couple in Winchester, Va., who had it on a bookshelf for 38 years. 


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