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Collecting
Audubons
Biography of
John James Audubon

All About
Audubons

Conditions
of Sale

The Birds of America,
Havell Edition

The Birds of America,
Bien Edition

The Birds of America,
Royal Octavo Edition

The Birds of America,
Amsterdam Edition

The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America

The Quadrupeds of North America

The Natural History of
Carolina, etc., Catesby

Audubon and Natural
History Books

The Birds of America, Abbeville, Ariel, and Princeton Editions Natural History Collectibles The Viviparous Quadrupeds
of North America

Southart-Parkway Edition

The Birds of America, 1858 - 60 - Bien Edition

The Bien edition, issued by Audubon’s artist son, John W. Audubon, was the first attempt to reproduce the birds life-size. It was undertaken by Julius Bien in New York as a chromolithographic work and involved the transfer of the images from the original plates to stones. The outbreak of the Civil War prevented completion, and only 150 images on 105 plates were produced by Bien during the years 1858, 59, and 60.  The sheets with one image measure about 26 x 38 inches, the same size as the Havells. 

However, instead of placing one small bird on a large sheet, two small images were printed on each sheet in the Bien edition. This work was a major achievement in chromolithography at this time and the Biens are actually scarcer than the Havells, and of course all the work was done in America. The exact number of the Bien editions is unknown, but it is thought to be between 50 and 100.

Listed below are those prints which consume a full sheet; later in the listing the double sheets with two images; and next, those small image sheets which have been halved. The half-sheets are about 18 x 25 inches. Further, the Biens have no watermark although in most cases Bien’s name appears on the print.In the Fall of 2012, Joel Oppenheimer, of Oppenheimer Inc. in Chicago, published a reference book on the Bien Edition (1858-1860) titled The Birds of America: The Bien Chromolithographic Edition. This important book contains new information on the Bien edition and for the first time reproduces all of the Bien prints in striking color. Collectors of Bien prints should have this book in their library. It can be purchased through this website or directly from Oppenheimer Inc.

~ FEATURED PRINT ~

Plate 380 - WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
- Wide spread goose, typical Audubon pose, dated 1860. 

$6,500
Full Sheet, One Drawing, 25 x 37 Inches


Plate 244 - YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT -
Striking composition with birds coming to nest in Virginia Rose bush, good condition, full sheet, 1860. $5,500

Plate 364 - YELLOW CROWNED  NIGHT HERON -
Major image, high demand, one of most popular Bien images. Excellent color, measures 25 x 38 inches, dated 1860. Julius Bien, New York, lithographer. $18,000

Plate 380 - WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE - Wide spread goose, typical Audubon pose, dated 1860. 

$6,500

Plate 389 – CRESTED GREBE - Good color and condition, very decorative. Framed. $3,500
   
Full Sheet, Two Drawings, 25 x 37 inches

Plates 173, 174 - MACGILLIVRAY'S FINCH AND SHARP-TAILED FINCH
- Two images with interesting foliage and background. Good color and condition.  $950

Plates 397, 398 - LONG-NECKED AND SCAUP DUCK - Vertical double, 26 1/2 x 39 inches, good color, 1860, several margin repairs. $2,500
 
Half Sheet, One Drawing, 18 x 25 inches

Plate 192 – WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW
– French mat and period frame. $650
   
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