C1889

Menura Superba. Lyre-Bird.

Colour lithograph of the Lyre Bird from Broinowski’s, Birds of Australia, one of the three most important C19th studies of Australian ornithology. Modern binomial name: Menura novae hollandiae First described: Thomas Davies 1800 Distribution: VIC, NSW, QLD and introduced to Tasmania.  The Lyre Bird … Read Full Description

$A 375

S/N: BOAB-5025–218134
(C103)
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Details

Full Title:

Menura Superba. Lyre-Bird.

Date:

C1889

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Lithograph printed in colour.

Image Size: 

260mm 
x 360mm
AUTHENTICITY
Menura Superba. Lyre-Bird. - Antique Print from 1889

Genuine antique
dated:

1889

Description:

Colour lithograph of the Lyre Bird from Broinowski’s, Birds of Australia, one of the three most important C19th studies of Australian ornithology.

Modern binomial name: Menura novae hollandiae
First described: Thomas Davies 1800
Distribution: VIC, NSW, QLD and introduced to Tasmania.

 The Lyre Bird was first sighted November 1797 by a an ex-convict who lived with the Aborigines after his term had expired. It was first caught on 26th January 1798 and was described by Thomas Davies 4th November 1800 to the Linnean Society of London.

1797 First sighting. An ex-convict who lived with Aboriginals after his term expired in 1792, said that there was in the bush near Sydney, “a bird of the pheasant species’. Near Sydney, John Wilson (Barrington 1802)

1798 First recorded sighting We saw nothing strange except a few rock kangaroos with long black brush tails, and two pheasants which we could not get a shot at. Nepean, John Price (Historical Records NSW, 3 Appendix C.)

1798 First capture Here I shot a bird about the size of a Pheasant, but the tail of it very much resembles a Peacock, with large long feathers which are white, orange, and lead colour, and black at the ends; its body betwixt a brown and green, brown under his neck and black upon his head. Black legs and very long claws. Near Bargo, John Price (Historical Records NSW, 3 Appendix C.)

1798 Mimicry of the Lyrebird They sing for two hours in the morning, beginning from the time when they quit the valley, until they attain the summit of the hill; where they scrape together a small hillock, on which they stand, with their tail spread over them, imitating successively the note of every bird known in the country. South-west of Sydney David Collins (An account of the English Colony…)

1800 Scientific description The total length of this singular bird from the point of the bill to the end of the broad tail feathers is 43 inches; 25 of which are in the tail alone. The bill rather exceeds an inch in length, is strong, formed much like that of a peacock… Blackheath, Thomas Davies. (Transactions of the Linnean Society of London)

Gracius Joseph Broinowski (1837 - 1913)

Broinowski was an artist and ornithologist, born in Poland and educated at Munich University where he studied classics, languages and art subjects. To avoid being conscripted into the Russian army, he went to Germany where a period of privation followed both on the Continent and in London, and about 1857 he joined a ship bound for Australia. Experiences at sea appear to have been very trying for him, so that he was glad to swim ashore at Portland, Victoria, and walk into the country. On that journey, according to his own record, he met with the only act of kindness he had received since leaving home: an elderly Scottish lady provided a meal and sent him on his way with 'new courage'. He worked in rural Victoria and later found employment with a firm of publishers in Melbourne; he then travelled widely in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, painting landscapes and scenes of various towns and promoting 'art unions' with his pictures as prizes. About 1863 at Richmond, Victoria, he married Jane Smith, daughter of the captain of a whaler. Settling in Sydney in 1880 he taught painting to private pupils and at colleges, lectured on art and exhibited at various showings of the Royal Art Society. He was then commissioned to supply the Department of Public Instruction in New South Wales with pictures of Australian birds and mammals. In 1887 Broinowski issued his famous series The Birds of Australia.

View other items by Gracius Joseph Broinowski

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