Natural history

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"Brown Plover"

Artist: Watling, Thomas
Created: [between 1792 and 1797]
Dimensions: 19.2 x 16.4 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 324


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Bird in profile, facing to the left. It is depicted perched on a branch against a plain background. The bird is predominantly painted in shades of brown, with paler underparts. The upper parts are overlaid with white and pale brown detail, with black outlines on the wing feathers. The drawing is framed by a pencil border and annotated in ink and pencil.


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  • Thomas Watling]
  • The drawing is annotated in ink at bottom left "one fifth of the Natural size, This is a Water Bird though put on a perch".
  • The drawing is signed at lower centre "T. Watling, delt.", but is undated.
  • The drawing is inscribed in ink at top right with the number "253.". 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 "Brown Plover, Supp ii 320". This has been copied in ink at bottom left, "Brown Plover Latham Syn Suppt ii. p. 320.". The page reference is to Latham's Second Supplement to the General Synopsis of Birds (1802).
  • The drawing is annotated in pencil at lower right "Golden Plover (Charadrius fulvus) winter plumage H B Usher". (H. B. Usher was a member of the Bird Room staff of the British Museum (Natural History), who reviewed the identification of some of the bird drawings c. 1950 - ref. unpublished manuscript by F.C. Sawyer in the Zoology library of the Natural History Museum.)
  • This bird was more recently identified as the Double-banded Dotterel, Charadrius bicinctus in Hindwood K. A. (1970).
  • The drawing is annotated in pencil "Lambert Drawing III. 16". 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 12324
  • 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).