Item 504 - Rock Ptarmigan? (White and brown)

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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Rock Ptarmigan? (White and brown)

General material designation

Parallel title

Rock Ptarmigan, femaleWillow Ptarmigan, female

Other title information

Lagopus mutaLagopus lagopus

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Caption title.
  • Parallel titles and other title information: Title from Mousley: Lagopus rupestris?

Level of description


Reference code

CA RBD MSG BW002-504

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • undated (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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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.

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 female Rock Ptarmigan from a 18th century specimen [modern geographical distribution: Canada, Alaska, and Scandinavia] and a female Willow Ptarmigan from an 18th century specimen [modern geographical distribution: Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom. Attributed to Paillou, Peter, and Collins, Charles].

Notes area

Physical condition

Significant foxing.

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General note

Manuscript note on front of drawing: Rock Ptarmigan? (White and brown) (Lagopus rupestris?)

General note

Manuscript note on back of drawing: one of the birds came from Hudsons bay the other from Newfoundland

General note

Scientific name: Lagopus muta / Lagopus lagopus

Accompanying material

With manuscript text on accompanying leaf.

Accompanying material

Transcription of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Tetrao pedibus nudis
The Partridge Kind

Supercilia nuda, papillosa
pedibus hirsutis.

T. pedibus hirsutis, cauda cuneiformi
rectricibus tribus lateralibus
albis. L.S.N. p.160
Habitat in Canda [sic]

Accompanying material

Translation of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Tetrao with bare feet
The Partridge Kind

with bare pimpled eyebrow stripes
and shaggy feet.

T. with shaggy feet, a wedge-shaped tail,
and three white flight feathers on the sides
of the tail. L.S.N. p.160
It lives in Canada.

Alternative identifier(s)

Volume number

Birds Volume 7, Painting 1

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Physical storage

  • Volume: Birds v.7 (of 16)