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Baltimore Oriole

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Baltimore Oriole

Artist: John James Audubon (American, 1785 - 1851)

Engraver: Robert Havell Jr. (American, 1793 - 1878)

Date: 1838
Medium: etching and aquatint on paper, hand-colored
Double elephant: 38 1/4 x 25 1/2 inches (97.2 x 64.8 cm)
Classification: Pages
Inscribed: No. 3. (upper left); PLATE. XII. (upper right); Drawn from Nature by J.J. Audubon F,R,S. F,L,S. (lower left); Baltimore Oriole. ICTERUS BALTIMORE. Dand. Adult Male,1.Male two years old,2.Female,3. Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera (lower center); Engraved, Printed, & Coloured, by R. Havell. (lower right)
Credit Line: Partial Bequest of H.J. Lutcher Stark, 1965 and Partial Gift of Nelda C. Stark, 1973
Object number: 11.1.2.B.86_Baltimore Oriole
DescriptionThis page is bound in Volume II (11.1.2.B). Composite plate composed of Plate XII (12) (Volume II) Baltimore Oriole with additional bird, Baltimore Oriole, from Plate CCCCXXXIII (433) (Volume III).
Label Text:This set of The Birds of America was Audubon’s personal copy. He had his Birds bound systematically according to families of birds. He also had it bound in five volumes rather than the traditional four. His set includes thirteen addition plates that were composite prints, combinations of images. Audubon had his printmaker add the female oriole, which is at the top of the print, to an earlier image to make this composite plate. Havell only printed six or seven of each of the composite plates; only one other complete set of all thirteen exists.

Audubon began the sketch for the Baltimore oriole in Louisiana in 1822. His assistant Joseph Mason painted some of the foliage of the tulip tree.

Provenance: Artist; by inheritance to his son John Woodhouse Audubon [1812-1862]; purchased December 7, 1861 by John Taylor Johnston [1]; by inheritance to his son John Herbert Johnston as of 1893; by inheritance to his grandson William W. Appleton [1915-2014]; as of November 26, 1939 (Harry A. Levinson, The Chaucer Head Book Shop, New York) [2]; purchased 1939 by Cornelius D. Ehret, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; purchased April 29, 1954 through (Nada Kramar, Washington, D.C.) by H.J. Lutcher Stark [1887-1965]; ½ interest bequeathed September 2, 1965 to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation [3]; remaining ½ interest gifted February 1, 1973 to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation by Nelda C. Stark [1909-1999]; accessioned to the Stark Museum of Art | 1. See letter and bill of sale from John Woodhouse Audubon to John Taylor Johnston (object number 11.2.105.A-C) | 2. The New York Times Book Review, "Notes on Rare Books," November 26, 1939. | 3. Owned jointly by H.J. Lutcher Stark and Nelda C. Stark until his death at which point his ½ interest was bequeathed to the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.
  • Drawn to Life: Audubon's Legacy
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