Satyr tragopan (Tragopan satyra).

Satyr tragopan (Tragopan satyra). Sarah Stone.

c1790. Ink and watercolor drawing on wove paper, 26 cm by 36 cm inches sheet size; small chips to top corners, mat stain at edges, small edge tear repaired on verso. Contemporary inscription along the top edge.

Sarah Stone (1760-1844) was employed by Sir Ashton Lever to record the contents of his private museum. The museum consisted of animal specimens and ethnographic material brought back by British expeditions to Australia, the Americas, Africa and the far east in the last twenty years of the eighteenth century. She painted actively from about 1777 to 1806 which was the date of the dispersal of the Museum Leverianum. Sarah Smith (she married in 1789) was the most competent natural history illustrator of her day and provided illustrations for Shaw's Museum Leverianum, Latham's Synopsis of birds, and White's Journal to New South Wales.

Sarah Stone produced a few illustrations for Thomas Pennant's A view of Hindoostan (four volumes, 1798-1800). The Satyr Tragopan is illustrated in volumes two. "Pennant said that 'Lady Impey favoured me with drawings of several [birds] of the gallinaceous tribe', and this Satyr Tragopan was possibly drawn by Sarah from an Indian drawing executed for Lady Impey" (Jackson, p. 145; also plate six, p. 17).

For an excellent account of her life and work see Jackson, Christine. E. Sarah Stone: natural curiosities from the new world. London: 1998.

Price: $8,500.00 AU

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