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An early hand-drawn copy of Sarah Stone’s important illustration from John White’s Journal of a voyage to New South Wales.

Stone, along with Catton and Nodder, worked on John White’s important account 1790 of Australia.  According to a note in the book, she worked from specimens in the Leverian Museum, with which she was of course very familiar. “The Birds, &c. from which the drawings were taken are deposited in the Leverian Museum.”  The engraved image, Plate 26, reads: “Sarah Stone delin.”

The book explains: “The bird seems liable to great variation as to size and colour; the white in some being of much purer appearance than in others, and the yellow on the crest and tail more predominant. All the varieties agree in having the beak and legs blackish.”  

Stone was an exceptionally talented artist from the classical school of depiction that dominated the last quarter of the 18th century.  Her connection with a number of the foremost antiquarians and natural historians of the day saw her depicting newly-arrived specimens and artifacts from the most important voyages of discovery.  She is most well known for her watercolors of birds.

Condition Description
Watercolor and ink drawing of an Australian parrot, on early wove paper with a barely legible fragmentary watermark reading: “1807”, although the last digit is uncertain. Some toning.
See John White, Journal of a voyage to New South Wales, London: Debrett, 1790.