Beautiful American Birds
The man depicted on the stamp to the left, from the U.S.A., issued in 1985, is J.J. Audubon. You would never imagine the rather bland image of the man on the stamp could be linked to the wonderfully coloured works of art produced by him during his lifetime.
John James Audubon was born in what was then the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) on April 26, 1785. When he was six-years-old he was sent to France, where he lived until 1803 – when he left for America. There he eventually became an ornithologist, naturalist, and painter.
He was noted for his expansive efforts to find and document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. He died in New York City in 1851. The year 1985 was the 200th anniversary of Audubon’s birth and in commemoration many countries produced stamps featuring his wonderful wildlife paintings.
His major work, a colour-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827-1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. I thoroughly recommend, should you get the opportunity, a visit to an exhibition of his work.
Meanwhile, a British ornithologist, John Gould, was also busy with similar projects in Europe and Australia (more about Mr. Gould in a future article). In 2008 Comores issued the stamp sheet below to commemorate the achievements of Audubon and Gould.
Getting back to the 200th anniversary Audubon stamps, those below are from Jamaica.
Then these from Swaziland.
Naturally, France produced this attractive sheet.
Finally, eight beautiful stamp pairs from the small Caribbean island Nevis.
If this topic interests you, take a look at the postbeeld.com website for the many J.J. Audubon stamps in stock.
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