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    Sale 7652

    Exploration and Travel

    25 September 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 43

    Marian Ellis Rowan (1848-1922)

    Four birdwing butterflies (family PAPILIONIDAE), in two columns, representing both sexes of the common birdwing (Troides (Ornithoptera) priamus)

    Price Realised  

    Marian Ellis Rowan (1848-1922)
    Four birdwing butterflies (family PAPILIONIDAE), in two columns, representing both sexes of the common birdwing (Troides (Ornithoptera) priamus)
    bodycolour on grey paper
    10½ x 15in. (26.6 x 38.1cm.)
    on the left are the upper- and under-sides of the male, and on the right, the upper-and under-sides of the female


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    This butterfly, first named by the Swede Carl von Linn (Linnaeus) from specimens collected on the neighbouring spice islands, is one of the largest and most familiar of all New Guinea butterflies. A close relative, Queen Alexandra's birdwing (T. (O.) alexandrae), often considered to be the largest butterfly in the world, only occurs in one small area of eastern Papua New Guinea, and is the butterfly equivalent of the blue whale or tiger in terms of international conservation status and concern. The common birdwing is characteristic of forest margins. The huge caterpillars feed on Dutchman's-pipe vines.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Blanche (Bli) Ryan, the artist's sister, and thence by descent to
    Merlin Montagu Douglas Scott; Christie's London, 16 May 1995, lot 201.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION (Lots 43-55)

    BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS OF NEW GUINEA


    GREAT BIRDWINGS AND SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLIES (Lots 43-44)