The Audubon Society Baby Elephant Folio is the deluxe, jacket-covered hardbound edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, edited and compiled by Roger and Virginia Peterson and published in 1981 by Abbeville Press of New York. Though showing minimal wear and stain, the jacket cover remains in great vintage condition. The cloth cover and interior pages are in excellent shape.
Accompanying the book is a packet of print reproductions measuring 9” by 12” of the “Best Loved Bird Paintings by Audubon.” Fourteen of the original eighteen prints remain, and the prints can be easily matted and framed for your home or office.
The Baby Elephant Folio differs in many ways from any earlier edition of Audubon’s Birds of America. For the first time since their initial appearance in John James Audubon’s unparalleled Elephant Folio (1827-38), these magnificent hand-colored engravings have been completely reorganized in modern phylogenetic order: that is, in the standard scientific classification sequence following the evolutionary history of a genetically related group of organisms — from the most primitive living examples of birds to the most recently evolved.
However, the supreme achievement of this edition is the extraordinary quality of its printing and its faithfulness to the original art. In their commentaries on the plates, the authors have concentrated on Audubon the artist and naturalist, quoting extensively from his Ornithological Biography, and have chosen not to present encyclopedia-like entries on the birds pictured, which include hundreds in four-color full-sized plates.
This exquisitely rendered book would make a wonderful gift for anyone who is a devotee of the illustrative art of John James Audubon or a dedicated bird-lover, and it would serve as a beautiful addition to any home library.