NEW YORK — A rare first edition set of John James Audubon's sumptuously illustrated "The Birds of America" will be sold at auction in New York.
Christie's said Wednesday the four-volume set has a pre-sale estimate of $7 million to $10 million. The auction is Jan. 20.
The set contains more than 400 hand-colored plates of all the North American species known to Audubon in the early 19th century. It is considered a masterpiece of ornithology art.
The volumes stand 3½ feet high because Audubon wanted to depict the birds in their actual size and habitat.
It will be on view at Christie's Rockefeller Center galleries Jan. 14-19.
The books will be sold together with a complete first edition set of Audubon's 5-volume "Ornithological Biography" in matching red Morocco leather.