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"Da-ring-ha, Colebee's Wife"

Artist: Watling, Thomas
Created: [between 1792 and 1797]
Dimensions: 20.5 x 16 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 31


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Head-and-shoulders portrait of an Aboriginal woman named as Da-ring-ha, carrying a child in the crook of her left arm. Her body is turned slightly to the left but her eyes look out towards the viewer, as do those of the child which looks out over its left shoulder as she supports it with both hands. The woman has a band around her hair, and an ornament of what appears to be some sort of pliable material tied at her throat. The drawing is framed by a pencil border, annotated in pencil and brown ink, and signed by Watling.


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  • The drawing is inscribed in blue pencil at top right with the number "40", which refers to the pre-1984 numbering system for the Watling Collection.
  • The drawing is inscribed in pencil at lower centre "DA-RING-HA, Cole-bee's Wife."
  • The drawing is annotated in brown ink at bottom, possibly in Watling's hand, "In Engraving, the lights must be broke down to a sombrous tint."
  • The drawing is signed in brown ink "Thos. Watling, delt.", but is undated.
  • Da-ring-ha (also known as Dorringa or Daringa) is also represented in Watling Drawing no. 66.
  • The author of this catalogue record is Suzanne Stenning.
  • By permission of the trustees of the Natural History Museum (London).
  • Two sets of transparencies held in the Natural History Museum (London) Zoology Library and Picture Library: Picture Library order number 12031
  • James Lee of Kensington : purchased ; 1902
  • Data sheet available.
  • Wheeler, A. and Smith, B, (eds.) The Art of the First Fleet and other early Australian Drawings. New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1988. (Plate 17, p. 32.)