Natural history

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"Bird of Port Jackson"

Artist: Raper, George
Created: [1789]
Dimensions: 47.7 x 31.9 cm
Reference: Raper Drawing - no. 60


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Drawing of a bird perched on a tree branch against a plain background. The bird is depicted in frontal view with its head turned in profile to the right. It is coloured predominantly with black wash overlaid with black hatched lines and crescent-shaped dotted lines, marked with yellow behind the eye, on the underside of the tail, and in crescent-shaped markings on the breast. The branch on which it is perched curves up and to the left from the bottom right corner, and is coloured brown with dark grey-blue shading underneath. There is a small area of hatched pale grey-green lines to the left of the branch at the bottom. The drawing is framed with a thick black ink line and a triple-banded border, the central band of which is coloured with a pink wash and contains the title, signature and date. Most of the outer band appears to have been lost through the drawing having been cropped.


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  • George Raper]
  • The drawing is inscribed in black ink at bottom "BIRD of PORT-JACKSON - 1/4 Less Natural Size - GEO: RapeR.# 1789 ~".
  • The drawing is signed "GEO: RapeR" and dated 1789.
  • The drawing is inscribed in pencil at bottom left and right with the number "60", and on the reverse "70".
  • The bird was identified by Hindwood (1964) as the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus funereus.
  • 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) General Library and Picture Library: Picture Library order number 15160
  • Miss Eva Godman donated 1962
  • Data sheet available.
  • Hindwood, K.A. 'George Raper: an Artist of the First Fleet', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 50, Pt. 1, 1964 pp.32-57.