Audebert J.B. 1800-1802. 1802
The Oiseaux Dorés ou à Reflets Métaliques of Jean-Baptiste Audebert (1759-1800) is a beautiful work, "perhaps the loveliest individual bird book of the time" (Buchanan). It is a two-volume set of fine engraved plates, with captions in gold and some colours in the plates heightened with gold. Particularly spectacular are the Birds of Paradise. Audebert invented the colour printing process used, but after his death in 1800 it was Louis Jean Viellot who prepared most of the text and engraved the plates from Audebert's notes and drawings. The Oiseaux Dorés was always intended to be something exceptional: apart from the gold highlights on the birds, 12 copies had a gold-printed text, and a unique copy was printed all in gold, on vellum.
From: Oiseaux Dorés ou à Reflets Métalliques. Paris, 1800-1802.