New York: George R. Lockwood (late Roe Lockwood & Son), . Three volumes. 155 hand-finished color lithographed plates by J.T. Bowen (and others) from drawings on stone by W.E. Hitchcock and R. Trembley, after J.A. and J.W. Audubon (plate LXIV creased). Half titles. Royal octavo. Handomely bound in publisher's blindstamped morrocco, spines gilt with raised bands. Repairs to joints of first volume. Very good. Item #WRCAM54875
Audubon's final great natural history work, with plates and descriptions of the quadrupeds of the United States, including Texas, California, and Oregon, as well as part of Mexico, the British and Russian possessions, and Arctic regions. Regarding the dating of this Lockwood issue, it was published later than the copyright date of 1849 as given on the verso of each titlepage, but before the edition published with a preface signed by Lockwood as publishers and dated 1870. Audubon's collaborator on the QUADRUPEDS was naturalist and Lutheran clergyman John Bachman, who had studied quadrupeds since he was a young man and was a recognized authority on the subject in the United States. The two began their association when Audubon stayed with Bachman and his family in Charleston for a month in 1831, and this friendship was later cemented by the marriage of Victor and John W. Audubon to Bachman's daughters, Maria and Eliza. Audubon knew Bachman's contribution to the QUADRUPEDS would be crucial, and endeavored to convince his friend to set aside his fears about the project. Audubon was eager to begin what he felt could be his last outstanding achievement in natural history, but Bachman was more cautious and worried that they were entering a field where "we have much to learn." Audubon persisted in his efforts to get him to take part, and Bachman, "anxious to do something for the benefit of Victor and John [Audubon]," eventually relented, with the final condition that all of the expenses and all of the profits should go to the Audubons. By 1835, Bachman had become indispensable to the QUADRUPEDS project, writing most of the text and editing the entire work. With the success of the octavo edition of THE BIRDS OF AMERICA in mind, a similar edition of the QUADRUPEDS was envisaged from an early stage. The folio edition was published in thirty numbers between 1845 and 1854, and publication of the first octavo edition began in 1849 and was also completed in 1854. Unfortunately, Audubon did not live to see the completion of either project, and after his death in January 1851 the work was seen through to completion by his son, John Woodhouse Audubon. The two editions form a fitting memorial to the greatest natural history artist of his day. BENNETT, p.5. NISSEN ZBI 163. REESE, STAMPED WITH A NATIONAL CHARACTER 38. WOOD, p.208.