Audubon’s birthday

John James Audubon book sale

John James Audubon book sale

Today is John James Audubon’s birthday. His definitive work Birds of America has come to make the name Audubon synonymous with birds and bird conservation the world over. There are only 119 confirmed copies and 108 of them are in libraries and museums. Last year a rare copy sold at Sotheby’s in London for 7.3 million pounds ($US12 million, $8.2 million euro), making it the most expensive book in the world.

It contains 1,000 life-sized illustrations of almost 500 breeds. It took wildlife artist John James Audubon 12 years to complete his study.

The collection of 435 hand-coloured prints, made from engravings of Audubon’s illustrations, measures more than 90cm by 60cm because Audubon wanted to paint the birds life size.

More information on BBC News.