About 1820, at around the age of 35, Audubon declared his intention to paint every bird in North America.

'The Birds of America,' completed in 1838, showcases hand coloured prints of 489 American bird species from Audobon's original drawings. The work is presented as four enormous 'double elephant folio' volumes, each volume standing around 1 metre tall and 70 cm wide. No more than 175–200 complete sets of this astonishing work were ever issued.

The Chatsworth copy is in very fine condition, with no repairs, foxing or oxidation of the colours.

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