Item 442 - Eurasian Roller

Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Eurasian Roller

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Coracias affinis

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on 2019 species identification.

Level of description


Reference code

CA RBD MSG BW002-442

Edition area

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • undated (Creation)
    Paillou, Peter, 1712-1782

Physical description area

Physical description

1 watercolour painting ; 56 x 39 cm + 1 leaf

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Peter Paillou was born in London into a Huguenot family and was recognised in his own time as an eminent ‘bird painter’. In 1744 he began to paint for Taylor White and worked for him for almost thirty years, painting chiefly birds and mammals. He painted as well for Robert More, Joseph Banks, and for the Welsh naturalist Thomas Pennant. Many of his paintings of birds were used as the basis for book illustrations, often engraved by his colleague and fellow Huguenot, Peter Mazell. Paillou was elected to the Society of Artists and in 1763 he exhibited ‘A Piece of Birds, in Watercolours; the Hen of the Wood and Cock of the Red Game’. In 1778, to considerable approval, he also showed a picture of ‘A Horned Owl from Peru’, completely made from feathers.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Drawing of a Eurasian Roller from a 18th century specimen. Attributed to Peter Paillou (1704-1798).

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General note

Manuscript note on back of drawing: Corvus Surinamiensis from Surinam British Museum

Accompanying material

With manuscript text on accompanying leaf.

Accompanying material

Transcription of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Aves Picae Corvus
Caeruleo Cephalus
C. rostro nigro Capite et Uropigio Caeruleis
Dorso et humeris Colore Cupriae [cupreae] vel aeris
splendentibus maculo purpureo inter
Uropigiam Dorsum posito remigibus
Caeruleis superioribus in medio
purpurescente rectricibus viridibus et
Glaucis splendentibus tectricibus viridibus
maculo Caeruleo in Superiore parte

Accompanying material

Translation of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Aves Picae Corvus
Caeruleo Cephalus [The blue-headed...]
C. with a black beak, blue head and rump,
bright copper or bronze coloured back and shoulders,
with a purple patch placed between
the rump and the back; flight feathers on the wings
that are blue at the top and purple
in the middle, bright green and
grey flight feathers on the tail, and green covert feathers
with a blue patch on the upper part
of the wings.

Alternative identifier(s)

Volume number

Birds Volume 5, Painting 15

Standard number area

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Physical storage

  • Volume: Birds v.5 (of 16)