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Blanche (Bli) Ryan, the artist's sister, and thence by descent to Merlin Montagu Douglas Scott; Christie's London, 16 May 1995, lot 213.
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION (LOTS 265-270)
MARIAN ELLIS ROWAN'S BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS OF NEW GUINEA
Rowan set out on her second trip to New Guinea in April 1917. The butterflies and moths of New Guinea (lots 265-270) all originate from this second visit. Although she hunted and collected butterflies and moths in New Guinea, the numbers she painted in New Guinea and their specimen board layout indicate that many would have been painted from Frederick Parkhurst Dodd's famous collection. She returned home to Macedon with her ambition to paint an exhaustive record of New Guinea's birds of paradise almost realised, having completed 300 sheets of watercolours including 45 of the 52 known species of local birds of paradise, as well as her numerous studies of flowers, butterflies, moths and other insects. A letter written shortly after her return home recorded that she had 'just finished 2,175 butterflies and moths of New Guniea, that means work, as they are difficult to paint.'