I’m sure many of you know what our true passion here at Dandy Roll is: antique prints! I know, I know, giant surprise there. What you might not realize is quite the range of our collection: we carry prints that range from Rand McNally (who you know from the time that your parents were planning road trips) to hard to find botanicals. But some of the crowning pieces of our collection are our John James Audubon originals.
John James Audubon was born in 1785 in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (which is now Haiti). He emigrated to the United States in 1803 in order to avoid conscription into the Napoleonic Wars. After landing in New York, he travelled to his father’s farm, which he found himself raptured with. In 1804, Audubon claimed to carry out the first known “bird banding” experiment:
“I took the whole family out, and blew off the exuviae of the feathers from the nest. I attached light threads to their legs: these they invariably removed, either with their bills, or with the assistance of their parents. I renewed them, however, until I found the little fellows habituated to them; and at last, when they were about to leave the nest, I fixed a light silver thread to the leg of each, loose enough not to hurt the part, but so fastened that no exertions of theirs could remove it.1
Whether or not this actually happened, it is around this time that Audubon became fascinated with the natural world. Audubon went on to become one of the most prolific naturalists in American history. His prodigious works range from birds (Birds of North America) to the mammals (Quadrupeds of North America) that roamed the pastoral landscape of the North American continent. His work went on not only to inspire generations of naturists, but a dream of conservation of American wildlife.
Audubon’s sketches have been prolifically printed ever since the first editions were first released. Here at Dandy Roll, we’re lucky enough to have some first editions, as well as some restrikings from the late 1800’s! Our largest piece comes from the John T. Bowen printing house in Philadelphia, PA: The Missouri Mouse. This exquisite image was first printed in black and white as a lithograph, then the color was added by hand before release. The attention to detail comes from Audubon’s son, Victor Gifford Audubon. This piece comes framed by The Frame Shoppe, located here in Rogers, Arkansas.
We also are proud to have numerous first edition octavo prints in stock as well. From the Collared Peccary to the Virginia Deer, we have a variety of octavo sized pieces, which are perfect to add to any growing art collection. To purchase one of our first edition Audubon prints, please call us at 479-372-6626, or email us at email@example.com.
While we are proud to carry first edition Audubons, we also carry several restrikings of Audubon images. There’s an important distinction here: while these are replications of the original Audubon prints, they are not reproductions. These chromolithographs were printed in 1890 as a part of an ornithology survey of Pennsylvania. The images come from the original Audubon sketches, and are vividly brought to life in this publication. They’re the perfect addition to anyone’s growing gallery wall, or make the perfect gift!
Our Audubon prints are the ideal compliment to any interior; not only do they add a lovely pop of color to your space, they’re a great way to decorate your home with a unique piece of art! Still thirsty to learn more about Audubon? Check out these handy links!
Learn more about Audubon here
Learn more about lithography here
Learn more about the Audubon Society here
1. Audubon, John James (1834). Ornithological Biography, volume 2. Edinburgh, Scotland: Adam & Charles Black.