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    ‘The Rough-Billed Pelican’

    Date
    1793
    Creator
    William Skelton (1763 - 1848, British) , Engraver
    After
    Charles Reuben Ryley (1747 - 1798, British) , Painter
    Object type
    Library reference
    R63366
    Material
    Technique
    Dimensions
    height (print): 216mm
    width (print): 280mm
    Subject
    Biology
       > Zoology
          > Ornithology
    Biology
       > Natural history
    Content object
    nature
       > animal
          > bird
    Description
    Ornithological study of the American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) shown swimming.

    Plate 50 from Museum Leverianum containing select specimens from the museum of the late Sir Ashton Lever...by George Shaw (published by James Parkinson, 1792).

    The accompanying text relates that: “It is a native of North America...living principally on fish, of which, as well as of water, they are capable of carrying a vast quantity in the pouch...”

    The plate is inscribed: “C.R.Ryley del. W.Skelton sculpt. PELECANUS TRACHYRYNCHOS. THE ROUGH-BILLED PELICAN. London. Publish’d. as the Act directs Feb 2 1793 by I.Parkinson. Leverian Museum.”
    Object history
    The natural historian George Shaw (1751-1813) was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1789. His book, from which this plate is taken, was an account of the collection built up by Sir Ashton Lever FRS (1729-1788). The museum was originally at Leicester House, London and was displayed publically after Lever’s death, moving to a rotunda building near Blackfriars Bridge.
    Associated place
    Credit
    © The Royal Society
    Image number
    RS.10535
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