Smew (Mergellus albellus), Havell plate no. 347

Object Number: 
c. 1834-35
Watercolor, graphite, pastel, oil, and black ink with scratching out and touches of glazing on paper, laid on card
Paper: 28 1/4 x 20 5/8 in. (71.8 x 52.4 cm) Mat: 35 x 27 in. (88.9 x 68.6 cm)
Inscribed at lower left in graphite[partially erased]: "No. -- Plate 348[crossed out] 349"; at lower center: "Male. 1, Female 2"; birds numbered upper and lower respectively: "1"; "2"; erased inscriptions in lower register
Male, above; female, below. A European species, it is doubtful that Audubon observed it in America.
Gallery Label: 
Although, Audubon claimed he shot the female bird on "Lake Barataria, not far from New Orleans in the winter of 1819," modern ornithologists question the occurence of this Old World species in that location
Credit Line: 
Purchased for the Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group