A few weeks ago I coyly announced that we received an item worth more than $500. I’m now happy to report that the item, a rare framed Audubon print from the mid-1800s, sold this weekend on Ebay for $565. This brings our total sales for the MV Big Flea, which will be held on April 26th, to $5,563.
Best known for his works depicting birds, Audubon and his son later published The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. Featuring native American mammals, the series were published in two sizes: octavo and the larger imperial, of which fewer than 300 sets were made. Hand colored by the artist, they were published in 1848 in Philadelphia.
The print we received was the “Little Nimble Weasels” in the sought after imperial format. One of the artists most charming compositions, two long-tailed weasels intently examine a cicada that has perched on the branch of a dead tree.
As the background for the vignette, Audubon fashioned an elaborate and lovely nineteenth-century rural landscape complete with split-rail fencing, a meandering stream, and farmhouses in the distance. Audubon demonstrates an adeptness at depicting the two weasels in a lively and natural manner, their movements neither wooden nor distorted.
The print, which is professional framed with linen matting, was listed for sale on Ebay earlier this week. Starting with a price of $495, multiple bidders edged the price upward to $565 by the auction’s conclusion. Additional shipping and handling charges will bring the total cost of the print to more than $600.
Unfortunately, we do not know the name of the family that donated this amazing print to the MV Big Flea. Whoever you are, we are deeply indebted to you and great appreciative of your generosity.