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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
356   John J. Audubon  $500 $4353 $4789 16 You must login to place a bid.

#356 - John J. Audubon

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“I am extremely desirous to procure in the flesh (feathers and all)”—Audubon’s comprehensive ‘want list’
Description                           Estimate: $6,000+          

ALS, three pages on two adjoining sheets, 8.75 x 10.75, September 12, 1836. Letter to Thomas McCulloch concerning his ornithological work. In part: “Should you not have heard of my return to the United States prior to this, this will confirm the fact to you. I have been here with John one week. Along with this, I send you a copy of my third Vol. of Ornithological Biographies, hoping that it may give you some pleasure.—I am extremely desirous to procure in the flesh (feathers and all) as soon as possible when that species of bird [is] more abundant, and more easily procured in your section of America than South of it, and now beg of you to fulfill for me the following commission. That is to say to procure for me all the species annexed on the other side, or as many as you can procure, in Common Rum or whatever other spirits sufficiently strong to save them from putrefaction, in pairs as much as possible, and if not, by two of each species, to have these put into a good cask, with a list of the species contained therein, and to ship this to New York…If you will attend to this you will render to Science and to myself a very great obligation, and I shall feel great pleasure to do anything for you in return which you or yours may desire at my hands.” On the following pages, Audubon lists numerous species of birds he would like specimens of, including both their common and scientific names, with a few including the “Snowy Owl,” “Three Toed Woodpecker,” “Raven,” “Hudson Bay Titmouse,” “Canada Swan,” “Common Buzzard,” “March Hawk,” and “Arctic Ground Finch.” In fine condition, with splitting along intersecting folds.

Audubon first visited Thomas McCulloch, Sr., and his son, Thomas, Jr., in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1833, where they held one of the finest collections of taxidermy birds in private hands. The younger McCulloch kept a lengthy correspondence with Audubon and frequently sent samples of Nova Scotian bird life to Audubon in New York. This letter—essentially a lengthy ‘want list’—is extremely interesting in connection with Audubon’s career, which included taxidermy in addition to his famous illustrations. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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