Natural history

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"Fantailed Cuckoo"

Artist: Port Jackson Painter
Created: [between 1788 and 1797]
Dimensions: 27.4 x 22 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 157


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Bird, the body turned to the left but seen from a slightly frontal view, with the head in profile facing left. It is perched on a tree branch against a plain background. The bird is predominantly coloured in shades of brown and yellow ochre, with a dark band around the throat, and with a pale breast, belly and legs. The tail, which is fanned out and seen from underneath, is patterned with black and white. The drawing is framed by a pencil border and annotated in ink and pencil.


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  • Port Jackson Painter]
  • It is annotated in ink at bottom "Natural size,".
  • The drawing is unsigned and undated.
  • The drawing is annotated in ink at top right with the number "75.". This refers to the catalogue list compiled by John Latham c. 1801 which was acquired with the drawings, and is filed with them at the end of the Watling Drawings series.
  • The drawing is annotated in pencil at top "Fantailed Cuckoo Sup. 2. 138 pl. 126". This has been copied in ink at bottom, "Fan tailed Cuckoo Lathams Syn Suppt 2 p 138 - pl 126." The page reference is to Latham's Second Supplement to the General Synopsis of Birds (1802).
  • This bird was more recently identified as the Fantailed Cuckoo, Cacomantis pyrrhophanus in Hindwood K. A. (1970).
  • The drawing is annotated in pencil at top "Lambert Drawing II. 26". This refers to a related set of drawings from the collections of the 13th Earl of Derby, held in the Library at Knowsley Hall, Lancashire.
  • 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 reference number 12157
  • James Lee of Kensington : purchased ; 1902
  • Data sheet available
  • Latham, John. Supplement II to the General Synopsis of Birds. London: Leigh, Sotheby, 1802.
  • Hindwood K. A. 'The "Watling" drawings with incidental notes on the "Lambert" and the "Latham" drawings', Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales for the years 1968-69 (1970).