Audubon's Bird's of America
the success of the Double Elephant folio (Havells edition), Audubon
wanted to make a more affordable and widespread edition. This
he accomplished with the Royal Octavo edition by reducing the
large engravings. The name Octavo refers to the fact that the
prints would be printed on paper equal to one-eighth (octave)
of a full sheet of printing paper.
in 1840, Audubon employed JT Bowen, a lithographer from Philadelphia,
to reproduce the miniature edition.
reduced the large original engravings using a camera lucida: an
artist's tool for reducing images.
from the Royal Octavo edition measure 10.5" x 6.5" and
were originally bound into books. A total of 500 images comprise
the First Royal Octavo Edition. No more than 1000 are believed
to have been made.
Royal Octavos is accomplished by measuring the print. Again, the
outer dimensions should be 10.5" x 6.5".
one edge of the print bears signs of when it was originally bound
and stitched into it's book.