Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
Print size: 26 1/4" x 39 1/4"; image size: 19 1/2" x 24 1/2"
Princeton Audubon Limited Edition - produced 1985
In the early spring of 1832, Audubon and his assistant George Lehman stayed at the home of John Bachman in Charleston, South Carolina. Audubon wrote of the thousands of snowy egrets that had arrived there by March 25 and "were seen in the marshes and rice fields, all in full plumage." Soon he painted this magnificent egret, while Lehman added the landscape of a rice plantation in the Carolina low country.
Known to the plume hunters as the "Little snowy," the bird was adorned in breeding season with delicate plumes. Its lovely recurved back plumes were the milliners' "cross aigrettes," and it was for these nuptial feathers that the heronries were destroyed. "Where there had been hundreds of egrets in our southern states," Roger Tory Peterson writes, "there soon remained but a few hundred. The National Audubon society fought for plumage laws, and to meet the emergency hired wardens...Under protection the egrets and all the other long-legged waders have made a spectacular comeback."
Princeton Audubon prints are direct-camera facsimile lithographs of the Robert Havell Jr. (1793-1878) engravings for The Birds of America (1827-38). Princeton's Double elephant Folio prints are issued in limited editions of 500 or 1500 prints. All are numbered and have a seal in the bottom margin to demonstrate their authenticity.
Printed on heavy Mohawk paper that is recommended by the Library of Congress for archives, the paper is specially toned to match the average paper color of the antique originals.