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BIRDS OF AMERICA BY JOHN JAMES AUDUBON (1785 - 1851)
PLATE 171 - Engraved by R. HAVELL - Dated 1833

BARN OWL

                                                                                      
John James Audubon, Birds of America. Barn Owl. Havell Edition Plate 171. Dated 1833. Restored Print.
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BARN OWL  - Strix flammea
Also previously known as "The White Owl"

The original watercolour appears to have been rather rushed, as the right eye of the lower bird is incomplete. This is carried over into the prints, even though the plate clearly shows the outlines of the eye detail behind the etched shading. This is probably because the etched shading over the eye was an irreversible error that could only be overcome satisfactorily by starting afresh.

Now faced with a blotted-out eye it seems the colourists were instructed to leave it "shut", even though this was patently not the initial intention of either Audubon or Havell.  Whilst owls do shut one eye from time to time, they do not do this when alert or excited, as the lower bird clearly is. So, with apologies to the purists, we present the print as we believe was originally intended, with a completed right eye for the lower bird. If you require the original eye, wrong though it is, we are happy to provide the print complete with this error, as seen below. It is obvious where the iris and pupil were to be depicted, clearly demonstrating that this was an accident.

Original image and notes on restoration

IMAGE REF: AUD054
 


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A2 23 x 16 594 x 420 95


SUPER A1 36 x 24 914 x 609 185


 

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