Item 044 - Slow Loris

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Slow Loris

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Nycticebus coucang

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

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CA RBD MSG BW002-044

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

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Physical description

1 watercolour painting ; 56 x 39 cm

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(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 Slow Loris from a 18th century specimen [modern geographical distribution: South East Asia.] Attributed to Peter Paillou (1704-1798).

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Transcription of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Lemur
1. Lemur ecaudatus. Mus. Ad. Fr. 1. p. 3.
Simia, ecaudata, unguibus indicis subulatis
Animal Cynocephalum tardigradum Leb.
mus. 1. p.55. t. 35. f. 1. 2. & t 47. f.1
Animal elegantissimum robinsoni. rei. quadr. 161.
Habitat in Zeylona.
Statura Sciuri. subferrugina, linea
dorsali subfusca; Gula albidiore, Linea
Longitudinalis occulis interjecta albida.
facies tecta, auriculae urceolatae
Pedum palmae plantaq[ue] nudae
ungues rotundati indicum plantarum vero
subulati cauda fere nulla mammae 2 in
pectore, 2 in abdomina versus pectus.
animal tardigradum, auditu excellens, monogamum
Linaeus Sys. naturae p. 30.
The Sloth
Mr Solander called it ye Fairy.

Accompanying material

1. Lemur ecaudatus [Tailless Lemur] Mus. Ad. Fr. 1. p. 3.
The tailless simia, with awl-shaped nails on the forefingers;
Animal Cynocephalum tardigradum [Dog-headed tardigradum animal] Leb.
mus. 1. p.55 t. 35 f. 1. 3. & t 47. f.1
Animal elegantissimum robinsoni [The most elegant...]. rei. quadr. 161.
It lives in Ceylon.
It has the stature of a Sciurus [squirrel], it is reddish-brown, with a somewhat
tawny line on the back; the throat is quite white, with a
white line lying lengthwise between the eyes.
The face is covered, the ears are urn-shaped,
the feet are palmate and the soles of the feet are bare,
the nails are round but those of the forefingers on the feet
are awl-shaped, there is altogether no tail, there are 2 teats
on the chest, and 2 on the abdomen near the chest.
A tardigradum [slow-walking] animal, with excellent hearing; it is monogamous.
Lin[n]aeus Sys. naturae p. 30
The Sloth
Mr Solander called it [the] Fairy.

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Mammals Volume 1, Painting 44

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  • Volume: Mammals v.1 (of 6)