Item 002 - Simia

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Title proper


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Parallel title

Lar Gibbon

Other title information

Hylobates lar

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  • Source of title proper: Caption title.

Level of description


Reference code

CA RBD MSG BW002-002

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

Physical description area

Physical description

1 watercolour painting ; 56 cm x 39 cm

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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.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Drawing of a Lar Gibbon from a 18th century specimen [modern geographical distribution: Thailand, Northern Sumatra, and the Malay Peninsula.] Attributed to Peter Paillou.

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General note

Scientific name: Hylobates lar

Accompanying material

Transcription of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Mammalia Primates Homo

  1. Homo nocturnus. Amoen Acad 6 p 72 t 76
    Homo sylves Orang Outang. Bont jav 84
    habitat in Ethiopia conterminis Plin[y]
    in Javae Amboinae Ternatae speluncis in
    monte Ophir Malaccae. Linaei. S. N. p. 33 edit nov.

Primates Mammalia Simia
Simia ecauda facie nuda nigra auribus nudis
toto corpore vestito, colore nigro.
capilis [capillis] Albis facie circumferentibus
pedibus albis ungues pedum anteriorum
patuli sed ulteriorum accumiminati [acuminati].
digiti palmarum in extremitabus nigris
Altitudine 3 pedum stet & sedet erecta ut homines
habitat in Africa. ut dicitur.

Accompanying material

Translation of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Mammalia Primates Homo

  1. Homo nocturnus. Amoen Acad 6 p 72 t 76
    Homo sylves Orang Outang. Bont jav 84
    It lives in regions bordering Ethiopia Plin[y],
    in caves in Java, Ambon, and Ternate, and
    on Mount Ophir in Malacca. Linaei. S. N. p. 33 edit nov.

Primates Mammalia Simia
Niger [The black...]
Simia with no tail, bare black face, bare ears,
and a black-coloured body fully covered [in hair];
white hairs all around the face, and
white feet; the nails are broad on the inner side of the foot
but pointed on the outer side;
the fingers of the hands are black at the tips.
It is 3 feet high, and stands and sits erect like humans.
It is said that it lives in Africa.

Alternative identifier(s)

Volume number

Mammals Volume 1, Painting 2

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  • Volume: Mammals v.1 (of 6)