Natural history

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"Common Curlew"

Artist: Port Jackson Painter (probably Watling, Thomas)
Created: [between 1788 and 1797]
Dimensions: 22 x 18 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 311


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  • Port Jackson Painter]
  • The drawing is annotated in ink at bottom "near the Natural size, the english Curlue, the Native name Gaarlarr-re-bing". (The word "near" appears to have been added at a later date.)
  • The drawing is unsigned and undated, but the painting style displays some of the characteristics of Thomas Watling.
  • The drawing is inscribed in ink at top right with the number "239.". 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 "Common Curlew var. Syn. v. 119.". This has been copied in ink at bottom, "Common Curlew, variety, Latham Syn 5. p. 119.". The page reference is to Latham's General Synopsis of Birds (1781-5).
  • This bird was more recently identified as the Eastern Curlew, Numenius madagascariensis in Hindwood K. A. (1970).
  • The drawing is annotated in pencil at top "Lambert Drawing III 17". 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 12311
  • 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).