Item 622 - Java Sparrow

Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Java Sparrow

General material designation

Parallel title

Java Sparrow

Other title information

Lonchura oryzivora

Title statements of responsibility

P. Paillou janvery 1759;

Title notes

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

Level of description


Reference code

CA RBD MSG BW002-622

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1759 (Creation)
    Paillou, Peter, approximately 1720-approximately 1790

Physical description area

Physical description

1 watercolour painting ; 56 x 39 cm + 1 leaf

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(approximately 1720-approximately 1790)

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 pair of Java Sparrows from 18th century specimens [modern geographical distribution: the Philippines, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and Hawaii].

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General note

Manuscript note on front of drawing: Java Sparrow (Munia oryzivora) P. Paillou janvery 1759;

General note

Manuscript note on back of drawing: The Java sparrow or Rice Bird

Accompanying material

With manuscript text on accompanying leaf.

Accompanying material

Transcription of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Aves Passeres Loxia
Rostrum conico-gibbum, fronte
subcalvum. Mandibula inferior
margine laterali inflexa.
Nares in basi rostri.
Lingua integra

Aves Passeres Loxia
14 Loxia fusca temporibus albis rostro
L.S.N. p. 173
Habitat in Asia & Ethiopia inter
Rice Bird

Accompanying material

Translation of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Aves Passeres Loxia
The beak has a humped-conical shape;
with a somewhat bald forehead, and a curved edge
on the side of the lower mandible.
The nares are in the base of the beak.
The tongue is whole.

Aves Passeres Loxia
14 Loxia fusca [The tawny...] with white temples and
a red beak.
L.S.N. p. 173
It lives in Asia and Ethiopia amidst
the rice.
Rice Bird

Alternative identifier(s)

Volume number

Birds Volume 10, Painting 11

Standard number area

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Physical storage

  • Volume: Birds v.10 (of 16)