9 Audubon prints, the Shah Nemeh, Cortes oil painting will headine Nadeau's New Year's Day Auction Nine large James J. Audubon bird prints from the 1820s and ‘30s and a 1620 manuscript of the Persian Shah Nemeh (or Book of Kings) are just a few items slated to be auctioned Wednesday, Jan. 1st.
News-Antique.com - Dec 08,2013 - (WINDSOR, Conn.) – Nine large James J. Audubon bird prints from the 1820s and ‘30s, a 1620 manuscript of the Persian Shah Nemeh (or Book of Kings), two important etchings by the renowned artist and printmaker Martin Lewis (1881-1962), and a rare first-edition 1851 copy of Melville’s Moby Dick The Whale are just a few items slated to be auctioned Wednesday, Jan. 1.
They are but a part of Nadeau’s Auction Gallery’s annual New Year’s Day Auction, to be held in the firm’s gallery located at 25 Meadow Road in Windsor, starting promptly at 11 a.m. (EST). Also being sold is a late 19th century Sultanabad ivory rug in excellent condition (palace-sized, at 12 feet by 15 feet), exquisite pieces of estate jewelry and fine decorative accessories.
In all, more than 600 lots will cross the auction block, with between 250 and 300 people expected to attend in person. Internet bidding will be provided by Invaluable.com (the new name for Artfact.com). Nadeau’s is also anticipating around 200 phone bids and 300-400 left bids will be placed. Previews will be held on the days leading up to the auction. A buffet will be served.
The nine Audubon prints are expected to attract a great deal of attention, as they have at other auctions in the recent past. On Dec. 6, 2010, a copy of Audubon’s book Birds of America was sold at Sotheby’s for $11.5 million. At the time that was a record price for a single printed book. Nadeau’s is offering prints – not a whole book – but these are still coveted by collectors.
They are large prints – around 38 inches in height, the biggest made at the time and known in the trade as “double elephant” folio prints. Five of the nine are of large American birds; six still have their original Kennedy Gallery labels en verso, with Whatman watermarks, critically important to collectors. The prints are from the estate collection of Ms. Augusta Smith.
James J. Audubon (real name: Jean-Jacques Audubon) was born to French parents on what is now called Haiti in 1785. From his earliest days he had an affinity for birds, saying, “I felt an intimacy with them, bordering on frenzy that must accompany my steps through life.” His Birds of America, compiled between 1827 and 1839, is still considered a masterpiece volume.
The Shah Nemeh is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowski, sometime between 977 and 1010 A.D. It is the national epic of Iran (Persia) and the Persian-speaking world and contains some 50,000 verses, telling the mythical and historical past of the Persian empire. It is of central importance in Persian culture, even today, and is regarded as a literary masterpiece.
The early 17th century manuscript of the Shah Nemeh being offered by Nadeau’s is not only desirable for its age and historical significance, it also features 27 hand-eliminated plates, making it a beautiful document as well. It is expected to draw interest from collectors of antiquarian