C1789

New Holland Cassowary.

The first printed image of an Emu which was first sighted on 21st January 1788 by surgeon Arthur Bowes, in Port Jackson and described and drawn in his diary on the transport ship Lady Penrhyn. His diary entry describes his … Read Full Description

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S/N: VTBB-271-BI-AA–183559
(B008)
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Details

Full Title:

New Holland Cassowary.

Date:

C1789

Engraver:

Peter Mazell 
(1759 – 
1797)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

190mm 
x 255mm

Paper Size: 

208mm 
x 280mm
AUTHENTICITY
New Holland Cassowary. - Antique Print from 1789

Genuine antique
dated:

1789

Description:

The first printed image of an Emu which was first sighted on 21st January 1788 by surgeon Arthur Bowes, in Port Jackson and described and drawn in his diary on the transport ship Lady Penrhyn. His diary entry describes his observations:

The animals we saw during our stay in New Holland……-a bird of a new genus, as large and high as a Ostrich.

Binomial name: Dromaius novaehollandiae
First described: Latham 1790
Distribution: Australia wide (not including Tasmania)

From Governor Arthur Phillips Voyage to Botany Bay.

Collections:
National Gallery Australia: NGA 2012.1415
National Library Australia:  Bib ID 375658
State Library Victoria:  30328102131546/44

Arthur Bowes Smyth (1750 - 1790)

Smyth was an English surgeon who lived at Tolleshunt D'Arcy and practiced there at least between 1778 and 1783. In 1787 he was appointed a surgeon in the Lady Penrhyn in the First Fleet. He took charge of the prisoners when the convicts' surgeon on board, Dr Alltree, fell ill at Tenerife. Under the name of Arthur Bowes, as he was known in the colony, from 22 March 1787 to 12 August 1789 he kept a journal which included a record of the events of the voyage and the first weeks in New South Wales. While still in Sydney, on 19 March he reported on the birds of Lord Howe Island where Lieutenant Henry Ball had landed from the Supply on the way back from Norfolk Island. Smyth left Sydney in the Lady Penrhyn on 20 April, and the journal is most significant for its descriptions of bird life at Port Jackson and Lord Howe Island, where the ship called on her way to China. He collected curios and natural history specimens on his excursions at Port Jackson, in a way typical of the non-scientific collecting done in the colony before George Caley arrived in 1800. Bowes must have been one of the first white men to see an emu, of which he made a drawing. While on Lord Howe Island he made the earliest known drawing of the now extinct white Gallinule, and observed the Bell magpie or Currawong and four now rare or extinct birds, which have been identified as the Lord Howe Island pigeon, the booby, the Lord Howe Island rail or woodhen, and an extinct species of parakeet. He died soon after his return to England and was buried at Tolleshunt D'Arcy on 31 March 1790. Reference:  Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

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