Natural history

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"Boobook Owl"

Artist: Port Jackson Painter
Created: [between 1788 and 1797]
Dimensions: 21.2 x 16.9 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 114

 

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Bird perched on tree stump which is set on pale-green to yellow base, facing to the left, against a plain background. The bird is brown with yellow and grey markings. The drawing is framed by a pencil border and annotated in ink and pencil.

 

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  • Port Jackson Painter]
  • The drawing is annotated in ink at bottom "This Bird is about the size of the common English owl. Native name Boo-book."
  • The drawing is unsigned and undated.
  • The drawing is annotated in ink at top right with the number "24.". 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 centre "Boobook Owl - Sup ii : 64". This has been copied in ink at bottom, "Boobook Owl. Lathams Syn Suppt ii p 64". The page reference is to Latham's Second Supplement to the General Synopsis of Birds (1802).
  • This bird was more recently identified as the Boobook Owl Ninox novaeseelandiae in Hindwood K. A. (1970).
  • The drawing is annotated in pencil at top centre "Lambert Drawing II. 8". 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 12114
  • 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).
  • This drawing is reproduced in Wheeler, A. and Smith, B, The Art of the First Fleet and other early Australian Drawings. New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1988. (Plate 193, p. 181)