John J. Audubon, Pl. 113 Exquimaux Dog, Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, Bowen edition, 1845–48, hand-colored lithograph
Enjoy special pricing on Plate 113 Exquimaux Dog, Canis familiaris—Linn. (Var. Borealis.—Desm.), a hand-colored lithograph after John Woodhouse Audubon from the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (1845–48).
In the text that accompanyies the plate, Audubon and Bachman report that the animal is a “constant companion of the Esquimaux”, but that their range extends beyond the range of that tribe, and is found not only in Labrador, but among many tribes observed by travelers to the Arctic.
They included in their entry about this species an excerpt from the private journal of Captain Lyon while he was in Labrador (pp. 244, 332), which provides insight into the direct communication between man and dog, as well as early life on the northern reaches of the frontier.
“...Captain Lyon had eleven of these Dogs, which he says were large and even majestic looking animals; and an old one, of peculiar sagacity, was placed at their head by having a longer trace, so as to lead them through the safest and driest places....The leader was instant in obeying the voice of the driver, who never beat, but repeatedly called to him by his name. When the dogs slackened their pace, the sight of a seal or bird was sufficient to put them instantly to their full speed; and even though none of these might be seen on the ice, the cry of ‘a seal!’—’a bear!’—’a bird!’ &c, was enough to give play to the legs and voices of the whole pack. It was a beautiful sight to observe the two sledges racing at full speed to the same object, the Dogs and men in full cry, and the vehicles splashing through the holes of water with the velocity and spirit of rival stage-coaches.”
John Woodhouse Audubon depicted the Exquimaux Dog “from a fine living Dog in the Zoological Garden at London.” In perfect condition with beautiful original color. Imperial folio size, 22 x 28 inches.
$4,850 this week only (list price $8,500). Offer expires 1-22-17.
John James Audubon’s last major accomplishment was the creation of The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America which was produced in collaboration with the Reverend John Bachman, who wrote the accompanying text. In the summer of 1843, Audubon embarked with his son, John Woodhouse, on a final drawing expedition up the Missouri River to document and depict the four-legged mammals of North America.
Produced from 1845 to 1848 by the distinguished Philadelphia print maker, John T. Bowen, the set of 150 black-and-white lithographs was completely hand colored. Lithography proved an excellent medium for depicting the tactile realism of the mammals’ fur. These prints were published in imperial folio size, measuring 22 by 28 inches. Acclaimed as the definitive nineteenth-century work in the field of American mammalogy, many of the mammals were drawn by John Woodhouse Audubon with backgrounds contributed by Victor Gifford Audubon.
America’s most revered artist-naturalist, John James Audubon (1785–1851), is renowned for his extraordinary undertaking to record the birds of America. The images he created are icons of 19th-century art. Though fascinated by nature since childhood, studying and drawing from it, it was not until 1819, when Audubon was 34, that he fully embraced the life of an artist-naturalist. Having found his calling, he set out on a mission to create the Birds of America, exploring the American backwoods and wilderness to discover, record, and illustrate its avian life. Unable to find an engraver in the United States who could produce his great work in the size of life, that issue was resolved when he reached the shores of Great Britain. Together with London engraver, Robert Havell, J. J. Audubon and his family created the lavish double-elephant-size folio of The Birds of America, published from 1827–38, thus spectacularly launching his career as an artist-naturalist and publisher of natural history folios depicting North American birds and animals.
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