1788. Watercolour and ink on paper, 32 cm by 22 cm, "Sarah Stone 1788" at base of image, framed.
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, Pennant's A view of Hindoostan and White's Journal to New South Wales.
The White headed Munia Lonchura maja is a common bird of south-east Asia. The specimen used for this illustration would almost have certainly come from Batavia.
For an excellent account of Sarah Stone's life and work see Jackson, Christine. E. Sarah Stone: natural curiosities from the new world. London: 1998.
Price: $4,500.00 AU