Rare Copy of Audubon’s Bird Prints Sells for $7.9 Million (The Atlantic)


A first edition of John James Audubon’s life-size illustrated bird book was sold at a Christie’s auction last week for $7.9 million to an American collector.

Only 120 copies remain of The Birds of America volumes, which were printed on the largest handmade sheets available at the time (1827-1838) so Audubon could portray the birds in their true proportions.

Bowdoin received one of these books in 1955 as a gift from Roscoe Hupper, Class of 1907, in memory of his mother, Mary Alden Hupper. It’s bound in four volumes and on permanent display in the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Hawthorne-Longfellow Library.

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