The Birds of America

The Birds of America by James John Audobon

Introduced by Anne Brichto of Addyman Books in Hay

The charming illustration by John James Audobon was cut out of his phenomenal elephant folio book and used to add to the wall paper of the Chinese Drawing Room of Temple Newsam House in Leeds in 1827.

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This act of flagrant barbarity was committed by Lady Isabella Hertford who received the book as a gift from her lover King George IV In total she used 28 of Audobon’s illustrations. The book she destroyed was one of only 119 copies and the last one sold went for £7 million at auction in 2010. This must make this room the most expensive wall papering job in history. Still, on the bright side, at least she cut them out quite well and positioned them attractively.

Read more about this story here.

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