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Historic Autograph Letters, Manuscripts & Documents

Important Signed & Inscribed Books and Photographs

AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES.  (1785-1851).  American Ornithologist, naturalist and painter.   Rare Autograph Note Signed, “John J. Audubon”.  One page, oblong, octavo.  No place [London],  June 1835.   Audubon writes: “Admit Miss Fothergill and friends to the Zoological Gardens and to the Bruton Street Museum.”   The Bruton Street Museum was the Museum of the Zoological Gardens in Regent’s Park, founded in 1826.  While the Gardens held the live animals, the Bruton Street Museum held a fine collection of stuffed animals for study.  The Librarian of  the Natural History Museum has told us that the basis of the collection was a group of specimens brought back from Sumatra by Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, and were presented by his widow.  The vast holdings of The Museum soon outgrew its premises and was moved to  Leicester Square in the mid 1830’s, shortly after the date of Audubon’s note.   After 1855 the Museum’s connection with the  Regent’s Park Zoo ended and it was closed with some of the stuffed animals being sold, but the best were taken into the collection of the Natural History Museum, where they remain until today.   Letters and documents of Audubon are rare.   

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