John James Audubon

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John James Audubon
1785-1851
Large Striped Skunk: Female and Young
Watercolor, graphite, selective scraping, and collage, on cream wove paper.
33 1/16 x 24 1/4 inches (840 x 614 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan in 1910.
1976.12:3
Inscription: 
Inscribed in pencil at center and lower right, "Mephitis americana. / Common American Skunk, polecat. Fi. Female adult & Young male & female, / The Young drawn at Minnie's land June 9th 1848, / The adult "Jany ["y" superscript] 22d ["d" superscript], / Drawn Nature by / John J. Audobon. / Young beneath it, do. / as to send (?) or then...? / un...in the shadows." Inscribed on verso in pen and brown ink along side, "Male Skunk weight 6 1/2 pounds avoir / de poids / from nose to outline of the eye 1.3 / 8 / The same to corner of mouth- / to aperture of ear 2 3/8 / to End of Ear - 3 3/8 - / to Root of tail 17 inches / tail vertebrae 8 3/4 / Tail end of hair 12 3/4 / from Claws stretched to hind claws 18 1/2 / distance between the eyes 1 1/8 / distance between extremeties of ears at tip 3 3/4 / to front teeth above & below / Minnies land Jany [y superscript] 24...cutoff.
Provenance: 
Theodore Irwin; from whom purchased in 1910 by J. Pierpont Morgan (see Lugt 1509).
Notes: 

Watermark: J Whatman, Turkey Mill, 1839.
Preparatory study for Plate 42 of "The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America," 1845-1848.

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