The Raper collection

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Sweetlip Emperor (Lethrinus miniatus)The Raper collection is the least contentious of the collections, in terms of the attribution of most of the paintings to a named artist. There are 72 drawings, all but 10 signed by Raper. George Raper (c1767-97) was a midshipman in the Royal Navy who sailed on HMS Sirius. His work was executed in a style typical of British naval draughtsmanship of the time. Most of the paintings were made in New South Wales in the fledgling community of Port Jackson (now Sydney) but some are also from Norfolk Island after his ship the Sirius was wrecked and while with the rest of the crew he awaited rescue. The collection was in private hands until 1962 when it was presented to the Museum. The watercolours depict a variety of natural history subjects (1 plants, 9 birds and plants, 20 birds, 2 mammals, 1 mammals and plants, 8 fishes, 1 reptile) and a further 30 show events in the early history of the colony, topographical and ethnological subjects.

The Raper collection | The Watling collection | The Port Jackson Painter collection