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  • Title
    [Koala and young], 1803 / J.W. Lewin
  • Creator
  • Call number
    ML 896
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    1 drawing - watercolour and gouache - 29.4 x 34.1 cm. (sheet); 37.7 x 44.2 cm. (mounting page)
  • Collection history
    The King family descendant probably purchased the watercolour in 1803
  • Collection history
    The King family descendant probably purchased the watercolour in 1803
  • Source
    Purchased from a descendant of Governor King, July 1983
  • Access Conditions

    Access to this pictures collection via appointment only. Please submit your request through Ask a Librarian
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright: Artist died before 1955
    Please acknowledge: : Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • General note

    This work is believed to be the earliest surviving drawing of a koala by a European.
    J. W. Lewin's depiction of a koala and its young has been variously described by contemporaries:

    The botanist Robert Brown related to Sir Joseph Banks that ""The Governor, I learn, sends a drawing made by Mr Lewin. Mr Bauer cannot on so short a notice finish the more accurate one he has taken"" -- Reference: Brown to Banks, September 1803, Historical Records of NSW, vol.5, p.228.

    Captain William Paterson described the drawing to Banks as ""very worthless"" Reference: Paterson to Banks, 10 March 1804, Papers of Sir Joseph Banks, ML Series 27.29.

    The drawing may be the Koala referred to in the Sydney Gazette, August 21, 1803, a copy of which is filed at PXn 622.
    Digital order no:a928145
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    Signed & dated at lower right "I.W. Lewin N.S.W 1803"
  • Topic
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