Audubon's Birds of America, originally comprised of 435 hand-colored engravings, was twelve years (1825-1838) in the making. The first Audubon folio was published in double-elephant folio size (26 by 39 inches) as hand-colored engravings by the renowned London engraver, Robert Havell. Its masterfully designed compositions are clearly the work of a great artist. Hailed in his lifetime for his artistic achievement, Audubon's status as an artist has continued to increase, and his work remains unchallenged as the superlative example of its genre.
The Oppenheimer Field Museum Edition of Audubon's Fifty Best is the first facsimile edition to accurately replicate the quality of the original Audubon edtion of Birds of America complete in the 1830's. This publication achieves an esthetic quality that we can endorse as comparable to the originals. The remarkable similarity to the hand-colored Havell engravings cannot be overstated.
Each print is on Hahnemuhle cotton rag watecolor paper. Each print is embossed by hand with the Oppenheimer Editions stamp and the official Field Museum stamp. The verso of each print is stamped, numbered and signed bye The Field Museum Librarian.