mask

 

Antique Nature Prints is very pleased that the Stark Museum of Art, the repository of John James Audubon's personal copy of the Birds of America, has purchased our Audubon Bronze and will be displaying it with its Audubon collection.

Terms of Sale:

The price for Masks numbered 5-10 of 45 is $3,400.00. Shipping from Edinburgh, Scotland is included. Payment may be made by check or credit card. Please make checks payable to Antique Nature Prints. Paypal payments accepted.

The complimentary steel mounting stand and Dr. Chalmer's book are shipped separately to the purchaser at shipping & handling costs.


  To purchase please contact:

J. Gilbert Johnston
Antique Nature Prints
205-531-3973
Email: info@antiquenatureprints.com
www.antiquenatureprints.com

J. Gilbert Johnston’s

Antique Nature Prints,

is proud to offer, as the exclusive American dealer,

The Audubon Bronze Mask by Stuart Russell

The Story of the Audubon Bronze Mask

A comparison of the plaster original mask and the fibre glass copy - the 1827 original Edinburgh Audubon plaster mask stands to the right of the Chalmers/Russell copy.

John Chalmers M.D., a former President of the Royal College of Orthopaedic Surgeons of Edinburgh and the author of the outstanding book, Audubon in Edinburgh (published by The National Museums of Scotland in 2003), acquired a copy of the original 1827 Edinburgh Phrenology Society plaster mask of John James Audubon made by a Mr. O’Neill for the Society’s collection.

The 1827 original mask resided in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. A fibre glass copy was made for Dr. Chalmers by the University College of Art. This fibre glass replica is the only copy of the 1827 original ever made. The original is now in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland.

Dr. Chalmers lent his mask copy to his friend, Edinburgh artist Stuart Russell, to cast the Audubon Bronze Mask. It is an exact likeness of John James Audubon, age 41, as he was embarking on his monumental work, The Birds of America (1826-1838).

The 1827 Edinburgh Mask History from Audubon in Edinburgh By John Chalmers

“The following day (27 November, 1826) Audubon was invited to a meeting of the Phrenology Society at the home of George Combe (1788-1838). Phrenologists believed that it was possible to assess one’s character and abilities from the configuration of the skull, (continued on reverse)

the cult enjoyed great following in the early nineteenth century. Combe was one of the principal disciples and the society founded by him in 1820 flourished under his influence.

Audubon’s diary: December 20, 1826... Phrenology was the order of the morning. I reached Brown Square at 9, and breakfasted most heartily on mutton, ham and good coffee with George Combe. The cloth was left and we proceeded upstairs into his sancto sanctorum. A beautiful silver box containing the instruments for measuring was opened....I was seated facing the light. Dr. Combe acted as secretary; and George Combe, thrusting his fingers about my hair, began to search for miraculous bumps! My skull was measured accurately, as I measure the bill or legs of a new individual, and all was duly noted by the scribe.

The phrenologists seized every opportunity of obtaining face masks of distinguished individuals and Audubon consented to have one made.

Audubon’s diary: January 14, 1827.... After receiving many callers I went to Mr. O’Neill’s to have a cast taken of my head. My coat and neckcloth was taken off, my shirt collar turned down, I was told to close my eyes. Mr. O’Neill took a large brush and oiled my whole face, the almost liquid plaster of Paris was poured over it, as I sat uprightly till the whole was covered, my nostrils only were exempt. In a few moments the plaster had acquired the needful consistency, when it was taken off by pulling it down gently. The whole operation lastly hardly five minutes; the only inconvenience felt was the weight of the material pulling downward over my sinews and flesh. On my return from the Antiquarian Society that evening, I found my face on the table, an excellent cast.”

The Audubon Bronze Mask is signed and dated by Stuart Russell and is cast with an integral hanger for wall mounting. It is offered in a limited edition of forty-five masks ( the edition number of 45 corresponding with the time span between the first, 1826, and last, 1871, publication dates of Audubon’s ornithological works).

A heavy steel table mounting stand is included with your Audubon Bronze Mask purchase, along with a Certificate of Authenticity and a copy of John Chalmers’ book Audubon in Edinburgh.

Terms of Sale:
The introductory price for Masks 1-5 is $3,700.00. This special price will not be available after mask #5 is sold. Shipping from Edinburgh, Scotland is included. Payment may be made by check or credit card. Please make checks payable to Antique Nature Prints. Paypal payments accepted.

The complimentary steel mounting stand and Dr. Chalmers’ book are shipped separately to the purchaser at cost.

To purchase please contact: J. Gilbert Johnston Antique Nature Prints

205-531-3973
Email: info@antiquenatureprints.com www.antiquenatureprints.com

 

 

 


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