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Birds of America is one of the best known natural history books ever produced and also one of the most valuable - a complete set sold at auction in December 2010 for £7.3 million, which is a world record. First published in double elephant size (approximately a metre tall) in the first half of the nineteenth century, it is famous for its stunning life-size illustrations of birds set within landscaped backgrounds. The book was issued in parts over eleven years and only around 200 completed sets were ever produced. Less than 120 of these survive today, locked away in museums, galleries and private collections around the world. To create this complete edition of Audubon's masterpiece, each of the 435 beautiful hand-coloured prints was specially photographed from the Natural History Museum's own original edition. The artworks are accompanied by the scientific descriptions that were used in the original Birds of America and there is also a new introduction by world-renowned bird artist, ornithologist and author David Allen Sibley.
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'Natural history books have to compete with the BBC's Frozen Planet, and the Natural History Museum's The Birds of America does just that.' --Time Out
'Mesmerising' --The Observer
'The Natural History Museum has now reproduced a glorious complete edition.' --The Bookseller
John James Audubon was a naturalist and painter and is considered one of the greatest bird artists of all time. Born in Haiti in 1785, he spent much of his life travelling North America observing, catching and drawing birds and animals in remarkable detail. Using a variety of materials to create a highly dramatic style, he painted almost 500 species of the 700 or so regularly occurring North American bird species. Audubon is most famous for his life-size illustrations of birds and for the sheer size of the book in which they appeared.
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Book Description Natural History Museum, 2011. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0565092731