PRINCETONAUDUBONLIMITED      BigFeathers.com. 908-510-1621

AS SEEN IN THE NEW YORK TIMES. The world's only direct-camera Audubon lithograph prints.

FEATHER YOUR NEST WITH FINE ART FROM CALMER TIMES.

"With their astounding detail, definition, and color, the Princeton direct-camera facsimiles have long set the standard in Audubon Birds of America lithographs." -Louise Mirrer, current Director, The New-York Historical Society

Featuring The Princeton Double Elephant Edition. 

The world's only direct-camera folio fine art prints. Audubon collector and author Bill Steiner regarding Princetons, "True prints, great color, incredible detail. ... simply the finest Audubon facsimiles ever produced."

Welcome to BigFeathers.com, home of Princeton Audubon Limited. 


Exact documents of Audubon originals. Life-size direct-camera fine art prints.

Welcome to Princeton Audubon. Between 1827 and 1838, John James Audubon produced in London, England, 200 original aquatint life-size engravings of 435 different compositions of birds from North America. To learn more about his immense body of work, we invite you to view the video appearing below on this page. Beginning in 1860, many reproduction editions have been accomplished in various sizes, most reproduced from a small photograph or computer scan.  Today, most Audubon reproductions are ink-jet printouts.  Of all the full-size facsimiles, only the Princeton Folio Edition (Printed in Princeton, NJ, by Audubon collector and Master Printer, the late David O. Johnson) was produced through the purchase and direct physical use of the actual originals. Thus, Princeton prints retain a physical connection to Audubon's "great work" and are printed on the highest quality paper with ink pressed into the paper through the rollers of the press.  William Steiner, author of Audubon Prints: A Collector's Guide To Every Edition writes, "True prints, true colors, great paper, simply the finest Audubon facsimiles ever produced!"  Chris Lane, guest art appraiser on The Antiques Roadshow stated, "Of all the Audubon prints, Princetons come the closest in appearance and quality to the originals."   The Royal Society of London, to which Audubon belonged as a Fellow, recently chose Princeton prints to permanently display in Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire, a 300 year old estate which is now their International Science Center.You may acquire these same prints from this website, and also from The New York Times Store, and The Taylor Clark Audubon Gallery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We invite you to frame history, and invest in a calmer past.

Note: If you wish to have your print sent to a gallery for professional framing, please enter the address of the gallery for the shipping address when you make the purchase. We can recommend a Gallery for you if you wish.

GUARANTEE: If you wish to exchange or return your print for a full refund of the purchase price, excluding shipping, simply return the print in the same shipping material within 14 days of delivery to you. 


Unlike the production of any other Audubon edition in the world, Princeton Audubon Limited purchased the originals and through their physical use produced the magnificent Princeton Double Elephant Edition, the world's only direct-camera folio fine art prints of these historic images. These are absolutely accurate documents of the actual originals. We also offer the finest of today's archival pigment prints, The Rare Prints Editions. These are double elephant sized and can be displayed together with our Princeton Double Elephant Edition.

Featured here is a small detail of the Princeton Audubon Carolina Parrot. Click here to see the whole print $1,200. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 37 inches.


This print is based on a painting composed in Louisiana about 1825. Audubon wrote of these parakeets, "The woods are the habitation best fitted for them, and there the richness of their plumage, their beautiful mode of flight, and even their screams, afford welcome intimation that our darkest forests and most sequestered swamps are not destitute of charms."  In later years he was to write:   "Our Parakeets are rapidly diminishing in number, and in some districts, where twenty-five years ago they were plentiful, scarcely any are now to be seen." This gorgeous bird is now extinct. An actual original would command nearly six figures. We purchased one to produce this exact document. We suggest a black frame with a soft accent lamp at top.


Princeton Pileated Woodpecker, Plate # 111

Click detail to expand, or here for whole print. 

$1,200. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4. This plate is based on a painting probably executed in 1829 at Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, and considered to be one of Audubon’s finest works. This print is likely the finest example of Audubon reproductions ever accomplished of any image in any edition. Stunning!


Princeton American Flamingo, Plate # 431

Click to expand or here for whole print.

$1,200. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4. Award-winning print. Audubon obtained the bird from Cuba and made the drawing for this Havell plate in London in 1838. The bird plunges its head underwater upside down, then with the upper bill of its sickle-shaped beak serving as a dredge and the tongue as a sieve, it scoops small shellfish from the bottom of shallow lagoons.


Princeton Giclee Long-billed Curlew, Plate # 231 

Click to expand, or here for whole print. 

$1,200. Archival Pigment Print. Princeton Edition. Mint condition. Measures 28 x 39.


Princeton Brown Pelican, Plate # 251

Click to expand, or here for whole print.

$1,200. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4. Audubon probably drew this adult pelican in the Florida Keys in April or May 1832. Landscape artist, George Lehman, painted the mangrove limb.


Princeton Purple Heron, Plate # 256

Click to expand, or here for whole print.

$1,200. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4. Audubon drew both the birds and the background in Florida in April 1832. Princeton captured the true color of the originals. Examine this outstanding print in more detail.


Rare Prints Roseate Spoonbill, Plate # 321 

Click to expand, or here for whole print.

$1,200. New. Measures 29 x 39. Audubon wrote, "These birds fly with their necks stretched forward to their full length, and their legs and feet extended behind, moving otherwise in the manner of Herons, or with easy flapping, until about to alight, when they sail with expanded wings, passing once or twice over the spot, and then gently coming to the ground, on which they run a few steps."


Princeton Carolina Turtledove, Plate # 17 

Click to expand, or here for whole print.

$850. Mint condition. Measures 26 b1/4 x 39 1/4.  Probably painted about 1825 in Louisiana.  The pair of birds at bottom was apparently done first, since the limb on which the topmost bird sits is not connected to the branch on which its mate is perched.


Rare Prints Wooping Crane, Plate # 226

Click detail to expand, or here for whole print.

$1,500. New. Measures 28 x 39.  Audubon wrote, "They spread from Illinois over Kentucky, and all the intermediate States, until they reach the Carolinas on the southern coast, the Floridas, Louisiana, and the countries bordering on Mexico, in all of which they spend the winter, seldom returning northward until about the middle of April, or towards the beginning of May."


Princeton Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Plate # 47

Click detail to expand, or here for whole print.

$1,200. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4. These birds were probably painted in Louisiana c. 1825. Frank M. Chapman, in his Handbook of Birds of Eastern North America, wrote, "The Ruby-throat needs no song.  Its beauty gives it distinction, and its wings make music."


Princeton Snowy Owl, Plate # 121

Click detail to expand, or here for entire print.

$1,200. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4. This portrait was based on a composition probably painted in 1829 on the East coast.   Audubon gave these birds one of the only nocturnal settings found in The Birds of America.


Audubon Red-shouldered Hawk

Princeton Red-shouldered Hawk, Plate # 56

Click detail to expand, or here for whole print. 

$800. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4. Audubon studied the habits of the pair of hawks represented here over a period of three years, and this devotion resulted in one of the finest works he did in Louisiana before sailing to Liverpool in 1826.


Audubon Pinnated Grous

Princeton Pinnated Grous, Plate 183

Click detail to expand, or here for entire print.

$800. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4. This painting was probably done in 1824, when Audubon was near the Great Lakes.   It depicts two males fighting over a female and is one of the few works in which Audubon drew all three of the compositional elements:  birds, plants, and landscape.

 


Original Octavo Florida Jay, Plate 233 

Click here for whole print.

$900. Good condition. Offsetting from text page. Measures 7 x 10 inches.

Call 908-510-1621 to order.


Rare Prints Wild Turkey Cock, Plate # 1

Click detail to expand or here for whole print.

$900. Mint condition. Measures about 29 x 39. This is the first plate produced by Lizars, the first engraver used by Audubon. 


Princeton Long-legged Avocet, Plate # 328

Click detail to expand and here for whole print.

$350. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4.  Audubon painted this bird in New Orleans on May 2, 1821.


Princeton Baltimore Oriole, Plate # 12

Click detail to expand, here for whole print 

$800. Mint condition. Measures 26 1/4 x 39 1/4.  This print, of two male orioles and a female (shown clinging to the nest), is from a composition painted in Louisiana in 1822 and completed in 1825.


Southart Imperial Say's Squirrel 

Click here for the whole print. 

$250. Mint condition. Measures 21 x 28 inches. Somerset Velvet paper.


Princetons were produced by the late David Johnson, a Master Printer and collector of Audubon originals who owned the paramount printing company in the country - Princeton Polychrome Press. This company, now sold, achieved an enviable nationwide reputation by reproducing fine art prints for the National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Detroit Institute of Arts and many more.


A Jolly Good Recommendation! This is Chicheley Hall, a 300 year old estate in Buckinghamshire, England, and it is the home of the International Science Conference Center of The Royal Society of London.  Audubon was a fellow of this Society. (You will notice the letters F.R.S at the bottom of all Audubon originals.) This Society chose Princeton prints to display along with their Audubon originals. 


The difference is in the detail. Enlarge and examine the area above the beak of this American White Pelican, incline your screen back and forth until you see what appear to be small dabs of black ink. While most reproductions will simply show a smooth wash of black, we have produced an actual document of the original. The 'dabs' are actually evidence of the aquatinting process used by Audubon's engraver, Robert Havell, in his London shop. Acid was used to create minute depressions in the copper plate, like tiny reservoirs where black ink would later settle. When then pressed into the paper, the result was exactly what you see in this example.


Spectacular specs! ... Princeton Double Elephant Edition

  • Double elephants (full size)
  • World's only direct-camera capture Audubon folio lithographs.  
  • Limited editions 500-1500.
  • Each print is individually pencil-numbered to denote edition and embossed with the Princeton Audubon Limited seal. Option of purchaser to have number and seal only appear on Certificate of Authenticity. 
  • Up to 11 color plates used.
  • Specially developed fade-proof inks. Absolute color fidelity to the actual original.
  • Printed on a 300 line.
  • Life-size, 26 1/4 x 39 1/4.
  • Very heavy archival paper which is recommended by the Library of Congress for archives and is specially toned to match the actual color of the antique originals.
  • Registered to purchaser.
  • As seen in New York Times. 
  • As permanently displayed at The Royal Society of London, to which Audubon belonged as a Fellow.

Historical note: Since Audubon portrayed each bird life size, the larger birds often had to be drawn in feeding positions to fit on the largest copper engraving plates then available, approximately 27 x 39 inches. When setting forth on this great project, Audubon wrote ... "...nothing, after all, could ever answer my enthusiastic desires to represent nature, except to copy her in her own way, alive and moving!" This is the great appeal of Audubon prints. John James Audubon's compositions are LIFE SIZE AND filled with the drama of life, or as he himself put it ..."alive and moving!"

The Whooping Crane shown here is available in the original double elephant size and in a reduced-size Essex Edition print. (Hooping) The large version was reproduced from a private collection and the Essex Edition was reproduced from the originals at The New-York Historical Society.


"Even the name is strange." Interesting quote from Audubon's youth ... "Today I saw the swiftest skater I ever beheld; backwards and forwards he went like the wind, even leaping over large air holes fifteen or more feet across, and continuing to skate without an instant’s delay. I was told he was a young Frenchman, and this evening I met him at a ball, where I found his dancing exceeded his skating; all the ladies wished him as partner; moreover a handsomer man I never saw, his eyes alone command attention; even his name, Audubon, is strange to me.” — David Pawling, Mill Grove, PA; January, 1805, on 19-year-old John J. Audubon.  Learn more about Audubon




Observations from people you know...

"They are true prints, great paper, incredible detail and true colors. They are simply the finest Audubon facsimiles ever made!"  William Steiner, Audubon collector and author of Audubon Prints: A Collector's Guide To Every Edition.

"Of all the Audubon reproductions, Princetons come the closest in appearance and quality to the originals."  Chris Lane, co-owner of Philadelphia Print Shop and guest appraiser on PBS Antiques Roadshow

"With their astounding detail, definition, and color, the Princeton direct-camera facsimiles have long set the standard in Audubon Birds of America lithographs." 
Louise Mirrer, current Director, The New-York Historical Society

"...the quality of the reproductions reflects precisely the extraordinary state of the art craftsmanship Princeton Polychrome Press has consistently engendered since its inception."  Theodore S. Amussen, Former director of publications and editor-in-chief, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.  (Editor's note: Princeton Polychrome Press is the predecessor to Princeton Audubon Limited) 

"The Princeton Collection represents a remarkable example of historic accuracy and beauty.  No other modern Audubon edition gives collectors the quality and value of the Princeton edition. Audubon himself would no doubt be impressed by the superior workmanship in each print."-Glen Mullen, Gallery Manager, Audubon House & Gallery, Key West, FL.


Historical note: Audubon was perhaps the first naturalist/artist to depict birds in natural settings and poses, a fact unappreciated by scientists of his day, but nonetheless setting an artistic standard which remains to this very day.  Further, his extensive traveling caused one friend to complain, "He neglects his material interest and is forever wasting his time hunting, drawing and stuffing birds, and playing the fiddle.  We fear he will never be fit for any practical purposes on the face of the earth."   


Those three words, "Drawn from nature", appear in the script of all Audubon originals. And how true they are. These unique prints were the first made available to the public which depicted birds in realistic settings. Here is how Audubon himself said it ...

"Having studied drawing for a short while in my youth under good masters, I felt a great desire to make choice of a style more particularly adapted to the imitation of feathers than the drawings in water colours that I had been in the habit of seeing, and moreover, to complete a collection not only valuable to the scientific class, but pleasing to every person, by adopting a different course of representation from the mere profile-like cut figures, given usually in works of that kind."  John James Audubon

Audubon dramatically accomplished this goal through sheer strength of character. Often these images reflected the drama of life as well.  Thus, Audubon prints are not mere illustrations, but dramatic art that speaks to you through the ages.  It is indeed, art from calmer times. Audubon himself usually composed the birds in the wild, while he used a number of talented assistants to later add the background and flora.  The Pinnated Grous is an exception, as Audubon composed all three elements.  Here is our lithograph of the Pinnated Grous Contributing to the appeal of Audubon prints is their life size aspect. For example, when you purchase a double elephant facsimile of the American Flamingo, the bird is the same size as in life.  (Interestingly, the actual American Flamingo which was the subject of this composition was obtained from the shores of Cuba.) But regarding this life-size aspect, Audubon adds...

"Merely to say that each of my illustrations is of the size of nature, were too vague.  Not only is every object, as a whole, of the natural size, but also every portion of every object. The compass aided me in its delineation, regulated and corrected each part.  The bill, the feet, the lege, the claws, the very feathers as they project one beyond another, have been accurately measured."  John James Audubon, Ornithological Biography, Volume 1


What paper did Audubon use? Whatman paper was the only paper Audubon used for his watercolors and the subsequent double elephant etchings.  Napoleon wrote his will on Whatman paper as he sat exiled on the island of St. Helena.  George Washington signed state documents on Whatman paper.  Queen Victoria chose Whatman paper for her personal correspondence.  The Whatman paper Audubon used measured a huge 29 x 39 inches.  Audubon originals will have a very evident countermark with the name 'WHATMAN' stretching about 10 inches across the back of the paper.


How much is my Audubon print worth? 

Is my print an orignal?

 If you are still reading this, you likely have a reproduction which has little monetary value, since collectors know the value of their purchases. However, we estimate that there are perhaps several hundred Audubon double elephant originals in private hands where the owner is not aware of the value. To determine if your print is of value, first determine if it is an original or a reproduction. Here is some helpful information which will allow you to make this determination. Click here. You will there find that a determining factor is the presence of the unique watermark. If your full-size (double elephant) print has such a watermark, then it is an original. The value depends upon the image and condition. Some images are more popular than others, and thus command a higher monatary value. Please note the number at the top right of the print. If the last digit in the number is either a 1 or a 6, then you have a print of greater value. It can range from about $20,000 to $200,000 depending on the image. This is for the reason that such prints are generally depictions of the larger birds, which tend to be more popular with collectors. The smallest birds, such as warblers, may sell for $3,000 to perhaps $5,000, again depending upon the image and condition. Other prints can sell for 10's of thousands.

Regarding the smaller octavos, these prices range from $100 to several thousand, again depending on condition and image.

We do not appraise prints. But we will be happy to help you determine if your print is an original, and if so, we can give you a range where the value may fit in. We charge a flat $50 for this determination. Be prepared to accept the determination that your print may not be worth the $50 registration fee. However, it will give you valuable information and peace of mind. If we cannot make the determination with the information provided, we will refund the fee.

Do you wish to continue? If so, please register for this service.

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Double elephant (full-size) Birds of America prints. Princeton Editions (PE) and Rare Print Editions (RP). These are the premier editions of Audubon re-creations. All measure approx. 27 x 39 inches.

 

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The New York Times 

 

  • PE American Flamingo 
  • PE American Goldfinch 
  • RP American Ptarmigan
  • PE American White Pelican
  • PE Baltimore Oriole
  • PE Band-tailed Pigeon 
  • RP Barred Owl
  • PE Black & Yellow Warbler
  • PE Black or Surf Duck
  • PE Black-billed Cuckoo
  • PE Blue Crane
  • PE Blue Yellow-backed Warbler
  • PE Bonaparte Flycatcher
  • PE Brown Pelican
  • PE Carolina Parrot 
  • PE Carolina Turtledove
  • RP Carolina Turtledove
  • RP Cock of the Plains
  • PE Columbia Jay
  • PE Columbian Hummingbird
  • PE Field Sparrow
  • RP Florida Jay
  • RP Gossander
  • RP Great Blue Heron
  • PE Great Carolina Wren
  • RP Great Northern Diver or Loon
  • RP Great White Heron
  • PE Hooded Merganser
  • PE House Wren
  • RP Iceland or Gyr Falcon
  • PSE Long-billed Curlew 
  • PE Long-legged Avocet
  • RP Mallard
  • RP Mockingbird
  • RP Night Heron
  • RP Osprey or Fish Hawk
  • PE Painted Bunting
  • PE Pileated Woodpecker
  • PE Pinnated Grous
  • PE Purple Gallinule
  • PE Purple Heron
  • RP Red-breasted Merganser
  • RP Red-headed Duck
  • PE Red-shouldered Hawk
  • RP Roseate Spoonbill
  • PE Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • PE Snowy Heron
  • PE Snowy Owl
  • PE Summer or Wood Duck
  • PE Vigors's Warbler
  • RP Virginia Partridge
  • PE White-crowned Pigeon
  • RP Whooping Crane
  • RP Wild Turkey (female)
  • RP Wild Turkey (male)
  • PE Wood Thrush
  • PE Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • PE Yellow-breasted Chat
  • RP Yellow-crowned Night Heron
  • RP Zenadia Dove  

Category:

Imperial Quadrupeds

Editions of 750

Measure 21 x 28

 

Reduced size prints

Category:

Essex NYHS Editions

Editions of 1,000 or 2500

 

Category:

Watercolor Study Edition  16 x 24

Open editions

  • Snowy Owl Watercolor 
  • Bachman's Warbler Watercolor
  • Gyrfalcon Watercolor
  • Passenger Pigeon
  • Common Swan 
  • Great Gray Owl Watercolor 
  • Common Tern Watercolor  

 

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