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440247
  • Title
    Collection 27: Drawings of birds chiefly from Australia, 1791-1792
  • Call number
    SAFE/PXD 226
  • Level of description
    Collection
  • Date

    1791-1792
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
    440247
  • Issue Copy
    Digitised
  • Physical Description
    100 watercolours - various sizes
  • Scope and Content
    "Drawings of Birds chiefly from Australia, A Collection / of 101 BEAUTIFULLY COLOURED DRAWINGS with description, / in pencil mounted in a vol. and bound in hf. morocco / imp.fol" -- printed clipping pasted onto reverse of front endpaper.

    The sketches are titled, most with added notes giving the month bird was sighted and its size. Two drawings are dated: f.4 "June 1792" and f.81 "December 1791".

    1. Falco. [at lower left in different hand] August natural size. [Black-Shouldered Kite] [Elanus axillaris]
    2. [Plate 2 not located when volume transferred to Mitchell Library, August 1929]
    3. Turdus. [below title in different hand] August natural size. [Ground Thrush] [Cinclosoma punctatum]
    4. Turdus. Drawn the natural size being the only two of the kind as yet seen in the Colony June 1792. [in two differing hands] [Spotted Quail Thrush] [Cinclosoma punctatum]
    5. Oriolus mimetis. [above title in a different hand is written] Natural size July Iris doubtfull. [Olive-Backed Oriole] [Oriolus sagittatus]
    6. Barita. [above title in a differing hand is written] May, Natural size [Black-Backed Magpie] [Gymnorhina tibicen]
    7. Barita. [following the title in a different hand] 1/2 the natural size. [another note in a third hand, reads] This bird has a very uncommon and not unpleasant note. [Black-Backed Magpie] [Gymnorhina tibicen]
    8. Coraciae. [along lower edge in different hand] October. Reduced to half the size of the Bird the Drawing was taken from. [Dollar-Bird] [Eurystomus orientalis]
    9. Vanga. [at upper left in a different hand] July Natural size. [Grey Butcher-Bird] [Cractius torquatus female]
    10. Vanga. [at lower centre in different hand] Natural size Iris doubtfull. [Grey Butcher-Bird] [Cracticus torquatis male]
    11. Lanius. [above title in different hand] October. Natural size. [Crested Shrike-Tit] [Falcunculus frontatus]
    12. Ocypterus. [above title in different hand] April Natural size. [Dusky Wood-Swallow] [Artamus cyanopterus]
    13. Ocypterus.[above title in different hand] December. Natural size. [White-Browed Wood Swallow] [Artamus superciliosus, male]
    14. Ceblephyris. [above title in different hand] August. Natural size. [Little Cuckoo-Shrike?] [Coracina robusta]
    15. Ceblephyris. [above title in different hand] the natural size. [Grey Currawong] [Strepera versicolor]
    16. Ceblephyris [along lower edge in different hand] The same size as the Bird the drawing was taken from. April. [Grey Shrike thrush] [Colluricincla harmonica]
    17. Pardalotus. [along upper edge in different hand ] August. Both drawn Natural size. [added in third hand] & supposed to be of a different kind. [Spotted Pardalote and Eastern Striated Pardalote] [Pardalotus punctatus and Pardalotus striatus]
    18. Natural size [Golden Whistler] [Pachycephala pectoralis, male]
    19. April. Natural size [Golden Whistler] [Pachycephala pectoralis, male]
    20. Natual size. April [Golden Whistler] [Pachycephala pectoralis, male]
    21. Musciopa. [above title in different hand] June. Natural size. [Restless Flycatcher] [Myragra inquieta]
    22. November Natural size [White-Winged Triller] [Lalage sueurii, male]
    23. May. Natural size Iris & Tongue doubtfull [Brown Tree-Creeper] [Climacterus picumnus]
    24. Natural size [Scarlet Robin] [Petroica multicolor,male, Norfolk Island]
    25. Car, ral, gar, yei, sar [Scarlet Robin, male] [Petroica multicolor, N.S.W. ]
    26. Two birds of Norfolk Island natural size [Scarlet Robin]
    27. May. Natural size [Hooded Robin, female] [Melanodryas cucullata]
    28. Natural size July [Willie Wagtail] [Rhipidura leucophrys]
    29. Blackbird [Norfolk Island Blackbird?] [Aplonis fuscus, male]
    30. ...? [Norfolk Island Blackbird?] [Aplonis fuscus, female]
    31. ...? [Slender-Billed White-Eye] [Zosterops tenuirostris]
    32. [unidentified] July Natural Size -. For notes concerning attempts to identify this bird see Hindwood, K. A. The Sydney bird paintings in the Australian Zoologist, v.XIII, part 2, August, 1965, p. 86 (ML ref. Q590.5/A)
    33. Natural size. [Red-Backed Wren] [Malurus melanocephalu,male]
    34. Mo,ro,dru,ing Male and Female. Natural Size [Superb Blue Wren] [Malarus cyaneus]
    35. Natural size. [Emu-Wren, male] [Stipiturus malachurus]
    36. September. Natural size. [Yellow Thornbill] [Acanthiza nana]
    37. October. Natural size [Yellow Thornbill] [Acanthiza nana]
    38. Alundu? [above title in different hand] Natural size July] [Pipit] [Anthus australis]
    39. Mureilla. [along lower edge in different hand] July Natural size the notes of this bird are equal if not superior to the English Linnet. [Speckled Warbler] [Chthonicola sagittata]
    40. Imyella. Natural size [Red-Browed Finch] [Neochmia temporalis]
    41. Imyella. [above title in different hand] June. Natural size Iris doubtfull. [Diamond Firetail] [Stagonopleura guttata, immature]
    42. Imyella. [at lower centre in different hand] Natural Size. [Diamond Firetail] [Stagonopleura guttata]
    43. Imyella. [below title in different hand] February. Natural size. [Diamond Firetail] [Stagonopleura guttata]
    44. Cuculus. [above title, in different hand] Natural size. [at upper left corner in third hand] B [and at lower left] Goes with A [ie. f.45] [Fan-Tailed Cuckoo] [Cacomantis pyrrhophanus, male]
    45. Natural size. [at upper right in different hand] A [at lower left] Goes with B [i.e. f.44] [Fan-Tailed Cuckoo] [Cacomantis pyrrhophanus]
    46. Cuculus. [along lower edge in different hand] These Birds drawn Natural size. [The upper two birds are Golden Bronze Cuckoos, the third is Rufous Whistler] [Chrysococcys lucidis]
    47. Centropus. [at lower centre in different hand] This bird is about the size of the English Pheasant. Drawn 1/3 of the Natl. size. [Pheasant Coucal] [Centropus phasianinus]
    48. Hawk Cockatoo. [at lower left in different hand] Reduced by scale to 1/3 the Natural size. [Glossy Black Cockatoo] [Calyptorhynchus lathami, female]
    49. War,ran. [at lower centre in different hand] Natural size. [Turquoise Parrot] [Neophema pulchella, male]
    50. This is a ground parrot & never goes to a Tree or very Seldom. [at lower centre in different hand] Natl. size. [Ground Parrot] [Pezoporus wallicus]
    51. Natural size. [Little Lorikeet] [Glossopsitta pusilla]
    52. Natural size. [Musk Lorikeet] [Glossopsitta concinna]
    53. Corella. Natural size. [Eastern Rosella] [Platycerous eximius]
    54. Dreparis. Below title in different hand] September. Natural size. [at lower right in third hand] These birds are supposed to be Birds of passage & appear in flocks, the red does not show the beauty of the bird. [Scarlet Honeyeater] [Myzomela sanguinolenta]
    55.Wer,gan or the Friar. [at lower left in a different hand] Meliphaga Phrygia. [at lower centre in a third hand] Natural size. [Noisy Friarbird] [Philemon corniculatus]
    56. Melephahu Cyanops. [above the title in a different hand] Natural Size. The outer & middle toe are connected to the first joint. No feathers grow upon the part of the head which is blue (and of the finest Ultramarine). [Blue-faced Honeyeater] [Entomyzon cyanotis]
    57. January Natural size supposed to be a young Bird. [Noisy Friarbird] [Philemon corniculatus]
    58. Octr. Natural Size the feathers of the Neck Head Breast & Back are all pointed. [Brush Wattle-Bird] [Anthochaera chrysoptera]
    59. Natural Size the feathers of the head neck and breast are pointed. [Brush Wattle-Bird] [Anthochaera chrysoptera]
    60. June. Reduced by scale to half the natural size. [Red Wattle-Bird] [Anthochaera carunculata]
    61. January. Natural size. [Yellow Winged Honeyeater] [Meliornis novae-hollandiae]
    62. Natural Size. [Noisy Miner] [Myzantha melancephala]
    63. May. Natural size. [Tawny Crowned Honeyeater] [Phylidonyris melanops]
    64. Natural size Iris doubtfull. Iris supposed to be straw colour. [Brown Tree-Creeper] [Climacteris picumnus]
    65. May Natural size. [Yellow Winged Honeyeater] [Meliornis novae-hollandiae]
    66. August Natural size. [Grey-Backed Silvereye] [Zosterops lateralis]
    67. Natural size June. [White-Cheeked Honeyeater] [Phylidonyris nigra]
    68. Natural size August. [Lewin Honeyeater] [Meliphaga Lewinii]
    69. Natural size. Iris doubtfull. [Yellow-Tufted Honeyeater] [Lichenostomus melanops]
    70. Natural size. Austust. [Fuscous Honeyeater] [Lichenostomus fuscus]
    71. Meliphaga. [at lower centre in different hand] Natural size. [Three birds are shown, the second and third being Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) and Eastern Spinebill (Acanathorhynchus tenuirostris)]
    72. Meliphaga [and] Muscicapa. Natural size. Iris of both doubtfull. [Bell Miner] [Manorina melanophryus and Rhipidura rufifrons]
    73. Merops. [above title in different hand] November. Natural size] [Rainbow Bird] [Merops ornatus]
    74. Ter,re,a,mar or King Fisher. [at lower left in different hand] Alcedo. [at lower centre in third hand] Natural size. [Azure Kingfisher] [Alyone azurea]
    75. Dacelo. [along lower edge in different hand] Natural size. The outer & middle toe are connected to the second joint the middle and inner to the first. [Laughing Jackass] [Dacelo gigas]
    76. Hirundo. [at lower centre in different hand] January Natural size. [Welcome Swallow] [Hirundo neoxena]
    77. Hirundo. [above title in different hand] March. Natural Size. [at lower right in third hand] The Swallow or Martin of N.S. Wales. [Welcome Swallow] [Hirundo neoxena]
    78. Cuprimulyus. [at lower centre in different hand] the natural Size. [Tawny Frogmouth] [Podargus strigoides]
    79. A Young Mosquito Hawk natural size. [Owlet Nightjar] [Aegotheles cristatus]
    80. Colemba. [above title in different hand] May. Natural size. [Diamond Dove] [Geopelia cuneata]
    81. Wunga-Wungee Pigeon. December 1791. Drawn by scale the natural size. Two of these Pigeons were now seen for the first time. [Wonga Pigeon] [Leucosarcia melanoleuca]
    82. Bronze Wing. [at lower centre in different hand] Natural size. [Common Bronzewing Pigeon] [Phaps chalcoptera]
    83. Bronze winged pigeon. [at lower centre in different hand] Natural Size. [Brush Bronzewing Pigeon] [Phaps elegans]
    84. Pidgeon of Norfolk Island drawn by scale the Natural size Iris doubtfull. [Norfolk Island Pigeon]
    85. Oedienemus [?]. [at lower centre in different hand] The Natural Size. [Southern Stone-Curlew] [Burhinus magnirostris]
    86. A Night Bird. [along lower edge in different hand] This bird measured from the tip of the Bill to the extry. of the midl. toe 30 inches. [Southern Stone-Curlew] [Burhinus magnirostris]
    87. Hematopus. [at lower right in different hand] September. [along lower edge in third hand] The male & female are always seen together on the rocks & bare points but have entirely left the Harbour from being frequently disturbed, the iris is very bright. [above sketch at right] natural size of the toe. [Pied Oyster-Catcher] [Haematopus Longirostris]
    88. Charadrius. [below frame line in different hand] This bird runs on the ground like the Sand Lark and is very common on the Sands in the different parts of the harbour. [below this in third hand] Natural size. [Red-capped Dotterel] [Charadrius alexandrinus, female]
    89. Ardea [..?..] [Nankeen Night-Heron] [Nycticorax caledonicus]
    90. Ardea. [along lower edge in different hand] The size of the Bird the Drawing was taken from., who could extend its neck four Inches in leng[th]. [Little Bittern] [Ixobrychus minutus]
    91. Ciconia. [above title in different hand] December Iris doubtfull. [White-Necked Heron] [Ardea pacifica]
    92. December. Natural size Iris doubtfull .. [Japanese Snipe] [Gallinago hardwicki]
    93. Rulbus. [above title in different hand] August. Natural size. [Marsh Crake] [Porzana pusilla]
    94. Porphrio. [along lower edge in different hand] Reduced to the Bird the drawing was taken from. August. [Eastern Swamp Hen] [Porphyrio porphyrio]
    95. Podicepha. [along lower edge in different hand] September Natural Size of the bird, the feathers are of a very fine texture particularly those on the breast [which have] a shining silky appearance, seldom flies more than 50 or 60 yards the wing has three joints, like most Tropical birds. [Little Grebe] [Pocideps ruficollis]
    96. Bird of Norfolk Island (natural size). [at lower left in different hand] Procellana. [Norfolk Island Dove Petrel]
    97. Bird of Norfolk Island commonly called the mutton bird drawn natural size. Wedge-Tailed Shearwater [Puffinis Pacificus]
    98. Anas. [along upper edge in different hand] This Bird is about the size of a Goose. an outline of the foot drawn the natural size. [Pied Goose] [Anseranas semipalmata]
    99. A young Tropic Bird of the natural size. [Red-Tailed Tropic Bird] [Phaethon rubricauda]
    100. Tropic Bird. Natural size. [at centre right in different hand] Phaeton. [Red-Tailed Tropic Bird] [Phaethon rubricauda]
    101. Tropic Bird of Alma do Comtre-Mastre. From tip of the Bill to the rump 18 Inches, from the Rump to the end of the Tail 18 inches - from the Extremity of the Wings 4 Feet 2 Icnhes the Whole Bird is coverd with a bloom wch. is not shown in the drawing by the Rays of the Sun. Red-Tailed Tropic-Bird [Phaethon rubricandus]

    Tag found in the back of the volume inscribed: "Profssr. H.T. Lovell", and on reverse "... ofs. H.T. Lovell / House Shell Cove / Neutral Bay"
  • Source
    Purchased by the Public Library of New South Wales, 2 November 1887 Transferred from Public Library collection, August 1929 Transferred from Manuscript collection, D 226, March 1972
  • Access Conditions
    For access to this pictures collection 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
  • Description source

    Drawings of birds chiefly from Australia title on spine
  • General note

    foliated in M.L. / 1972
    Digital order no:Album ID : 824183
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    [p.i]
    "A / 9.A" in ink at upper left
    "M / Aust" in pencil at upper middle
    "S & A / ?ool" in pencil at upper right

    "M - d 48" in ink, on reverse of drawing no. 101 at lower edge
    "M - d 48" in ink, on reverse of back endpaper at lower edge
  • Attributions / conjectures

    The watercolours are unsigned. They were previously attributed to Thomas Watling, but it is probable that they are the work of a number of artists (see Hindwood, K. A. - The "Sydney" bird paintings in The Australian Zoologist, 10 August, 1965, v.XIII, part 2, pp.83-92. ML ref. Q590.5/A). The drawings are also discussed by Hindwood in Historical associatons ... in The Emu, 1931, part 2, pp.100-102 (ML ref. 598.2901/E) -- information from old catalogue card.

    It has been suggested that at least some of these drawings may have been executed in India, from skins collected in Australia, as stylistically they closely resemble works produced by artists working in that country: see Richard Neville, "A rage for curiosity", State Library of NSW, 1997, p.28 and Jane Lennon 'Art and Science: Early Australian natural history drawings and engravings', in "Australiana", August 1995, pp. 72-77.

    A number of these drawings are closely related to works by the Port Jackson Painter in the Watling Collection, Natural History Museum, London. For instance no. 6 in this collection - the magpie - appears to be the original of the Port Jackson Painter's 'Australian Magpie': see Bernard Smith & Alwynne Wheeler, "The Art of the First Fleet", 1987, p.184
  • Conservation note

    Rebound, March 2004
  • Creator/Author/Artist
  • Subject
  • Topic
  • Place
  • Exhibited in
    A Rage for Curiosity
    In the garden
    Nelson Meers Foundation Heritage Collection
    Artist colony: drawing Sydney’s nature

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