Item 823 - Smew [male] Eclipse plumage? & [female]

Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Smew [male] Eclipse plumage? & [female]

General material designation

Parallel title

Smew, female and eclipse male

Other title information

Mergellus albellus

Title statements of responsibility

p. Paillou Fect.Fabravary 1744-5;

Title notes

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

Level of description


Reference code

CA RBD MSG BW002-823

Edition area

Edition statement

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • between approximately 1744 and 1745 (Creation)
    Paillou, Peter, approximately 1720-approximately 1790

Physical description area

Physical description

1 watercolour painting ; 56 x 39 cm + 1 leaf

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

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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 Smews (the left is a female and the right is an eclipse male) from 18th century specimens [modern geographical distribution: Europe, Central Asia, and East Asia].

Notes area

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General note

Manuscript note on front of drawing: Smew [male] Eclipse plumage? & [female] (Mergus albellus) p. Paillou Fect.Fabravary 1744-5;

General note

Manuscript note on back of drawing: X

General note

Scientific name: Mergellus albellus

Accompanying material

With manuscript text on accompanying leaf.

Accompanying material

Transcription of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Aves Anseres Mergus
6 Mergus, capite griseo laevi.
L.N.S. [sic] p. 129.
Habitat in Europa
The Weazle Coot.
No. 7.

Accompanying material

Translation of manuscript note on accompanying leaf: Aves Anseres Mergus
6 Mergus, with a smooth grey head.
L.N.S. [sic] p. 129.
It lives in Europe.
The Weazle Coot.
No. 7.

Alternative identifier(s)

Volume number

Birds Volume 15, Painting 7

Standard number area

Standard number

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Script of description


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Physical storage

  • Volume: Birds v.15 (of 16)