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Audubon’s Red Texan Wolf

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22.     AUDUBON, J[ohn] J[ames]. Canis Lupus, Linn, Var Rufus. Red Texan Wolf. Male [at top] No. 17 | Plate LXXII. [below] Drawn from Nature by J.J. Audubon, F.R.S. F.L.S. | Lithd. Printed & Cold. by J.T. Bowen, Philada. 1845. [Philadelphia, 1846]. Hand-colored lithograph. Image: 34.5 x 64.3 cm; image and text: 44.5 x 64.3 cm; overall sheet size: 55.2 x 68.6 cm. Light browning at blank margins, top edge slightly wrinkled where removed, stab holes from binding present, overall fine, excellent color. Matted, framed, and under Plexiglas.

     First edition. According to the Handbook of Texas Online (Mammals): “The red wolf (Canis rufus), evidently now is extinct.” However, the red wolf was actually the subject of a recent, pioneering, but failed recovery and reintroduction program. The red wolf was one of seventy-two species included on the original official Federal Endangered Species List that was adopted in 1967 under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, the first Federal legislation addressing endangered species. Traditionally, the Cherokee used the red wolf mandible in their rituals and masks. From Bartram to the present, the one thing universally agreed about the red wolf is that it is largely an unknown. “Whatever happens to [the red wolf] now, Canis rufus symbolizes something important about native wild nature in North America. When the Endangered Species Act became law, the red wolf was the most endangered mammal. Like much else, it had barely made it through the seine of history” (Christopher Camuto, Another Country: Journeying through the Cherokee Mountains, University of Georgia Press, 2000, p. 57).

     The caption on the print states that the artist was J.J. Audubon, but the print was probably done by J.W. Audubon. See Alice Ford (comp. and ed.), Audubon’s Animals: The Quadrupeds of North America (New York: The Studio Publications, Inc. in Association with Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1951), pp. 68, 87. The print is included in Dr. Ron Tyler’s preliminary study of nineteenth-century Texas lithographs.


Sold. Hammer: $1,300.00; Price Realized: $1,560.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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