C1807

Nouvelle-Hollande: Ile des Kanguroos. Casoar de la Nelle Hollande. (Casuarius novae Hollande Lath.)

This image from the account of the Baudin expedition probably depicts both subspecies of the now extinct Kangaroo Island an King Island Emus. Stephanie Pfennigwerth of the Australian Museum has stated that the larger, light-ruffed “male” was actually drawn after … Read Full Description

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S/N: VDATAQ-066-BI-AA–202096
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Details

Full Title:

Nouvelle-Hollande: Ile des Kanguroos. Casoar de la Nelle Hollande. (Casuarius novae Hollande Lath.)

Date:

C1807

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Copper engraving with original hand colouring

Image Size: 

300mm 
x 240mm
AUTHENTICITY
Nouvelle-Hollande: Ile des Kanguroos. Casoar de la Nelle Hollande. (Casuarius novae Hollande Lath.) - Antique Print from 1807

Genuine antique
dated:

1807

Description:

This image from the account of the Baudin expedition probably depicts both subspecies of the now extinct Kangaroo Island an King Island Emus.

Stephanie Pfennigwerth of the Australian Museum has stated that the larger, light-ruffed “male” was actually drawn after a captive Kangaroo Island emu, that the smaller, dark “female” is a captive King Island emu, that the scenario is fictitious, and the sexes of the birds indeterminable. They may instead only have been assumed to be male and female of the same species due to their difference in size. A crooked claw on the “male” has also been interpreted as evidence that it had lived in captivity, and it may also indicate that the depicted specimen is identical to the Kangaroo Island emu skeleton in Paris, which has a deformed toe. The juvenile on the right may have been based on the Paris skin of an approximately five-month-old King Island emu specimen, which may in turn be the individual that died on board le Geographe during rough weather, and was presumably stuffed there by Lesueur himself. The chicks may instead simply have been based on those of mainland emus, as none are known to have been collected.

The King Island emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae minor) is an extinct subspecies of emu that was endemic to King Island. The King Island emu was the smallest of all emus, and had darker plumage than the mainland emu. It was black and brown, and had naked blue skin on the neck, and its chicks were striped like those on the mainland. The subspecies was distinct from the likewise diminutive Kangaroo Island emu (D. baudinianus)

1. KING ISLAND EMU

Modern common name: King Island Emu
Modern binomial name: Dromaius novaehollandiae minor
First described: Spencer 1906 Walter Baldwin Spencer coined the name Dromaius minor based on some Pleistocene subfossil bones and eggshells found on King Island the same year, believing they were the first physical evidence of an emu from there.
Distribution: Extinct. Kangaroo Island and King Island

2. KANGAROO ISLAND EMU

Modern common name: Kangaroo Island Emu or Dwarf Emu
Modern binomial name: Dromaius baudinianus
First described: Parker 1984
Distribution: Extinct. Kangaroo Island

From Francois Peron’s ‘Voyage de Decouvertes aux Terre d’Australes’.

The Kangaroo Island Emu was first discovered by Matthew Flinders in 1802 and reported to be quite common. The first bones were discovered in 1903.

In 1990, Jouanin and Jean-Christophe Balouet demonstrated that the mounted skin in Paris came from King Island, and that at least one live bird had been brought from each island.[10] All scientific names given to the Kangaroo Island emu were therefore based on specimens from King Island or were otherwise invalid, leaving it nameless. More recent finds of sub-fossil material and subsequent studies on King and Kangaroo Island emu, notably by Shane A. Parker in 1984, confirmed their separate geographic origin and distinct morphology. Parker named the Kangaroo Island bird Dromaius baudinianus, after the leader of the French expedition.[11] He based it on a sub-fossil specimen from Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

Charles Alexander Lesueur (1778 - 1846)

French natural history and topographical artist on board the lavishly equipped scientific expedition prepared by the Institut de France with the ambitions to explore the southern parts of the Eastern Hemisphere, in two corvettes, Geographe and the Naturaliste. Lesueur was taken on not as an artist or scientist but as an assistant gunner. Nichloas Baudin the commander of the expedition soon discovered Lesueur's talents and employed him as an illustrator for his private journal. His prolific output and the quality of his drawings during this important voyage is a testament to his artistic talents.

View other items by Charles Alexander Lesueur

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