Arthur B. SMYTHUNKNOWN ENGLISH ENGRAVER, A non descript bird found at Botany Bay from a drawing made on the spot Enlarge 1 /1

Arthur SMYTH

Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Essex, England 1750 – 1790

print after


A non descript bird found at Botany Bay from a drawing made on the spot 1792 Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper engraving, printed in black ink, from one copper plate Support: paper
Edition State: published state
Impression: undesignated impression as issued
Edition: print run unknown

Edition Notes: There are three interrelated variations of this image: 1789. Phillip, Arthur. An account of a voyage to Botany Bay. London: John Stockdale, 1789. plate 43, titled, 'New Holland Cassowary'. imprint: Publish'd Oct. 20. 1789. by J. Stockdale.'. Phillip notes that, 'The one [emu] from which the plate was taken, was shot within two miles of the settlement at Sydney Cove, and the drawing made on the spot by Lieutenant Watts. The skin being sent over to England in spirits, has been put into attitude, and is now the property of Sir Joseph Banks, to whom it was presented by Lord Sydney.'. The image shows a detail of the feather structure of the emu which is discussed by Phillip. The engraving is by Peter Mazell. 1791. Payne, John. 'Universal Geography formed into a new and entire system ... with a set of maps ... and a great variety of copper-plates'. London: printed for the author, and sold by J. Johnson, & C. Stalker, 1791. [2 volumes]. vol.1, page 621 imprint, 'London. Published Febr. 6 1791 by J.Johnson No 72 St. Pauls Church Yard. & C. Stalker Stationer Court.' [SLNSW trimmed and hand-coloured; Maritime Museum] The engraving is in reverse of that in Phillip, but not derived from it, The image is based on the drawing by Arthur Bowes Smyth ( SLNSW, Safe 1 / 15) and prints in reverse of that drawing. The feathers are curely and the compositional divice of the feathers in the Phillip image is replaced by that of a xanthorrhoea plant, which is also depicted in the Smyth drawing.
Primary Insc: no inscriptions.
Secondary Insc: no inscriptions.
Dimensions: sheet (sight) 25.0 h x 19.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2013
Accession No: NGA 2013.701
  • Purchased by Anne McCormick, Sydney, from Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney, early 1980s.
  • Purchased by the National Gallery of Australia, from Horden House, Sydney, May 2013.