28 November 2001
Sarah Stone (1761-1844)
Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
signed, dated and inscribed 'Sarah Stone 1780', and around outer margins 'Supercilious - Kingsfisher. La.Syn.2. p.643 Var.' and 'Alcedo supercilisu Lin:'
pencil and watercolour, within brown ink and wash border, framed and glazed
9½ x 10½in. (240 x 268mm).
Female Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutas)
signed and dated 'Sarah Stone 1782'
pen, ink and watercolour, framed and glazed
13 1/8 x 9¼in. (333 x 234mm).
A FINE PAIR OF WATERCOLOURS FROM ENGLAND'S MOST FAMOUS FEMALE BIRD-ARTIST OF THE 18TH AND EARLY-19TH CENTURY. Sarah Stone was most notably connected with the Leverian Museum where she was employed by Sir Ashton Lever to record the contents. The Morning Post of 25 March 1784 noted that the museum was exhibiting over 1000 'transparent drawings in watercolour' by her at that time. In addition she worked on a number subjects brought back from India for Sir Elijah and Lady Impey, and Australia for John White's Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales (London: 1790). She was also employed by John Latham to colour a few copies of his A General Synopsis of Birds (London: 1781-85, 3 vols.). As Miss Sarah Stone, she exhibited at the Society of Artists twice and at the Royal Academy between 1780 and 1786. She married Captain John Langdale Smith R.N. in 1789, and continued exhibiting intermittently at the Society of Artists under her married name until 1801. Christine E. Jackson Dictionary of Bird Painters (Woodbridge: 1999) p.442. Christine E. Jackson Sarah Stone Natural Curiosities from the New Worlds (London, 1998) (2)
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