Original hand-colored Audubon Imperial Quadruped stone lithograph, 27 x 21.5, issued as Plate XXIX, No. 6, entitled “Neotoma, Drummondii, Rich, Rocky Mountain Neotoma, Natural Size,” from The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America series. The print shows a pair of these Rocky Mountain rats with their winter and summer coats. The lower right is stamped “E.D.S. Library, Peabody.” Captions to lower left and right corners read: “Drawn from Nature by J. J. Audubon, F.R.S.F.L.S.” and “Lith. Printed & Col’d by J. T. Bowen, Philad’a, 1843.” Matted to an overall size of 30 x 24. In very good to fine condition, with light staining, and some edge chipping and tears hidden by the mat.
Published between 1845 and 1848, Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, the Imperial folio edition, was a field study of North American mammals that included 150 stone lithographs produced in three volumes of 50 prints per volume. The lithographs were based on watercolor drawings by John James Audubon and, after 1846, his son John Woodhouse Audubon, who completed the series due to the elder Audubon’s failing eyesight and declining health. Another son, Victor Gifford Audubon, assisted with the backgrounds. The lithographs were printed on non-watermarked heavy white paper and coloring was applied by hand before the prints were bound.