Lithograph with hand coloring and gum arabic highlighting in the leaves, from the Imperial folio quadrupeds series circa 1848, plate number 144, depicting three species of mole-like rats (Townsend's Arvicola, the sharp-nosed Arvicola, and the bank rat), by the important American naturalist artist and lithographer JOHN JAMES AUDUBON (1785-1851). Audubon was assisted by his son John Woodhouse Audubon, and the printing was by J. T. Bowen of Philadelphia. The creator of this print hardly needs introduction, seeing as that he is considered one of the foremost naturalist illustrators of all time, best known for his detailed observations and drawings of birds. The drawings were later turned into a glorious series of lithographs, some of which bring to six figures (and the amazingly detailed prized original drawings can bring millions). Audubon issued the series of mammalian quadrupeds prints in various sizes. The present, large size print is guaranteed to be the 19th century original edition, not a later reprint. It measures 17 7/8" by 23 1/4" inside the present mat, the sheet irregularly trimmed in the margins long ago but minimum dimensions thereof at least 21 1/4" by 27 1/4", available without glass with an inexpensive modern frame (no extra cost, and frame not pictured). Audubon's larger prints are much less commonly seen than the small octavo editions. Unfortunately this example has suffered some serious abuse in its lifetime and I am pricing it accordingly. I purchased it with intact glass, but before it was thus framed, it had already been damaged in the past, perhaps by shards of broken glass, with two significant 6" and 9" vertical scratch/digs into the heavy paper at center, and two very small losses at left. Margins are irregularly trimmed, and there is foxing within the image and old mat browning all around. A professional paper restorer could no doubt minimize the damages and return this to good condition. Upon request I would be happy to send more detailed images of the condition issues. **SEE a number of other Audubon originals in my shop**
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