Steller's Eider (Polysticta stelleri), Havell plate no. 429
Watercolor, graphite, pastel, and black ink with scratching out on paper, laid on card
Paper: 14 3/4 x 21 5/8 in. (37.5 x 54.9 cm) Mat: 23 x 29 in. (58.4 x 73.7 cm)
Inscribed at left vertically in graphite over erased inscriptions[erased and partially illegible]: "[next to a 2 inch line] Limit[Lingth?] of smaller tail feather, -- / total lingth[sic] of the wing -- the entire but of / the wing as far as [minor?]…pure white -- and I think the black / Spot in front of it in very firm[?] birds may mark a... / collar -- --, this specimen is a very beautiful one -- / I think the whole under parts has faded greatly -- / since shot ---"; at right [partially erased]: "... / 14 tail feathers --- / [line 1/4 inch] length of tarsus / [short line]...outer toe nail... / [short line]...inner -- -- / First primary longest --- / and wing feathers broader / [curved line diagram] with as much and base --- . / Secondaries blue and terminating / in a band of white --- / Scapulius -- long … / the upper Vail white the lower of / each feather tip blue or black / in different lights -- / the neck shorter -- / the general form that of the / Harlequin duck -- / bills and feet also -- -- / beneath dark but not… / black, under tail coverts / indian ink black. -- / upper tail coverts Del[?]... / whole back Del[?]…er green[cut] / in the bright light -- / see colours of any / Known --Kill'd at... / near -- Yarmouth 1830 -- / in Yarrell --"
Includes a very faint detail sketch of tail
The background flora has been identified as
Purchased for the Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.