Item 811 - Lesser Black Backed Gull, immature

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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Lesser Black Backed Gull, immature

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Larus fuscus

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

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Reference code

CA RBD MSG BW002-811

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

Physical description area

Physical description

1 watercolour painting ; 56 x 39 cm

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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 an immature Lesser Black Backed Gull from a 18th century specimen [modern geographical distribution: North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.] Attributed to Peter Paillou (1704-1798).

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Small tears along right edge.

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Accompanying material

Transcription of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Aves Anseres Larus
Aldrovandi. Will. orn. p. 331
Larus rostro nigricante in apice
mucrinato [mucronato] naribus oblongis in parte superi

  • [o]re Rostri plumis brevissimis vesti
  • tus.

Corpus parte superiore niger apicibus plumarum
palidus inferiore palidum striis trans

  • versis fuscis cauda. rectricibus nigris apicibus

Caput palidum striis fuscis minu

  • tis longitudinalibus notatum.

pedibus palidis striatis.
membrana digitorum pars extrema
niger est cetera palida.
This bird agrees nearly with the
Cephus of Aldrovandus. except the
feet difer in colour from those he describes
No. 42.

Accompanying material

Translation of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Aves Anseres Larus
Aldrovandi. Will. orn. p. 331
Larus with a black beak pointed at the tip, and
oblong nares in the upper part of the beak
covered in very short
The body is black on top with pale-tipped feathers,
and is pale underneath; with tawny horizontal lines
crossing the tail, and black flight feathers on the tail with
pale tips.
The head is pale and marked
with small tawny lines crossing it lengthwise.
The feet are pale and furrowed.
The tip of the membrane on the toes is black,
the rest is pale.
This bird agrees nearly with the
Cephus of Aldrovandus except the
feet difer in colour from those he describes.
No. 42.

Alternative identifier(s)

Volume number

Birds Volume 14, Painting 42

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  • Volume: Birds v.14 (of 16)