Item 813 - Common Tern

Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Common Tern

General material designation

Parallel title

Common Tern

Other title information

Sterna hirundo

Title statements of responsibility

Cha. Collins Fect. June 1742;

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Caption title.
  • Parallel titles and other title information: Title from Mousley: Sterna hirundo

Level of description


Reference code

CA RBD MSG BW002-813

Edition area

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1742 (Creation)
    Collins, Charles

Physical description area

Physical description

1 watercolour painting ; 56 x 39 cm + 1 leaf

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Charles Collins was an Irish painter, known for his portraits of animals and still-lifes. He achieved success in England painting exotic birds, game, dogs and dead game still-lifes. He was the painter for Robert Furber’s ‘Twelve Months of Fruit’ (1732). In 1736 he published in collaboration with John Lee a set of 12 large engravings, coloured by hand, of British birds in landscape and garden settings, entitled Icones avium cum nominibus anglicis. He then came to the attention of Taylor White, who engaged him to paint birds from his and others’ collections until 1743. Collins died in 1744, when he was described as ‘Bird Painter to the Royal Society.’

Custodial history

Scope and content

Drawing of a Common Tern from a 18th century specimen [modern geographical distribution: worldwide].

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General note

Manuscript note on front of drawing: Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) Cha. Collins Fect. June 1742;

General note

Manuscript note on back of drawing: The sea swallow, Hirundo marina, Sterna of Turner, Spuver of Gesner. W. 352

Accompanying material

With manuscript text on accompanying leaf.

Accompanying material

Transcription of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Hirundo
Sterna cauda forficata: rectricibus
duabus extimis albo nigroque dimidiatis.
L.S.N. p. 137
Habitat in Europa.
Sea Swallow
No. 44

Accompanying material

Translation of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Hirundo
Sterna with a scissored-tail with two outermost flight
feathers that are half white and half black.
L.S.N. p. 137
It lives in Europe.
Sea Swallow
No. 44

Alternative identifier(s)

Volume number

Birds Volume 14, Painting 44

Standard number area

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Physical storage

  • Volume: Birds v.14 (of 16)