image shaw, g_museum leverianum_1792_plate 50
Image number: RS.10535
Credit: © The Royal Society
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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

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