Quadrupeds of North America.
AUDUBON, John James, and BACHMAN, John. The Quadrupeds of North America. New York: V.G. Audubon, 1849-1854. 3 Vols. in 31 original parts. Vol. One titlepage and 1/2-title bound at front of part No. 1; Vol. Two titlepage at end of No. 20; Vol. Three titlepage, ?-title, and table of contents at end of No. 31. Indexes in Nos. 10, 21, and 31. 155 handcolored lithographed plates by W.E. Hitchcock, R. Trembly, and J.T. Bowen after J.J. and John Wodehouse Audubon. Partially-printed receipts (dated June & October, 1852) from Victor G. Audubon to J.C. Haviland for Nos. 20 & 23 laid in to their respective issues (bill for No. 23 signed by V.G. Audubon). 1st ed. in parts. Large 8vo. Each part in original printed wrappers, housed in custom red cloth chemises with slipcases, each with a black morocco gilt label, labels a bit rubbed and scuffed. Wrappers on parts 1 and 2 expertly rebacked with matching paper, tear on wrapper of parts 21 and 24 expertly repaired. Light wear and occasional chipping at edges of wrappers of a few other issues. A few spots of light soiling, light even tanning and an occasional light fox mark. Very good. Bennett, p.5. Nissen ZBI 163. Reese, Stamped with a National Character 38. Wood, p.208. First edition in the rare original parts of Audubon's final great natural history work, with plates and descriptions of the quadrupeds of the United States including Texas, California and Oregon, as well as part of Mexico, the British and Russian possessions and Arctic regions. Audubon's collaborator on the Quadrupeds was the naturalist and Lutheran clergyman John Bachman who had studied quadrupeds since he was a young man and was a recognized authority on the subject in the United States. The two began their association when Audubon stayed with Bachman and his family in Charleston for a month in 1831; this friendship was later cemented by the marriage of Victor and John W. Audubon to Bachman's daughters, Maria and Eliza. Audubon knew Bachman's contribution to the Quadrupeds would be crucial, and endeavored to convince his friend to lay aside his fears about the project. Audubon was eager to begin what he felt could be his last outstanding achievement in natural history, but Bachman was more cautious and worried that they were entering a field where "we have much to learn." Audubon persisted in his efforts to get him to take.