Numenius Tahiticus (Gmelin)

Click the picture for image
of complete lithograph

The bird in the lithograph is the Tahitian Curlew (Numenius Tahitiensis (Gmelin)). Two specimens were taken in the Hakodadi area. Cassin noted that the expedition artist, Heine, recorded that they "Abound in the Vicinity of Hakodadi." The lithograph is not attributed to an artist but I believe the reference to the Heine comment indicates he was the artist.

This is a hand-colored lithograph. Other lithographs in the Narrative have color but they were not hand-colored. Rather, they were printed with color in the lithograph process. The Narrative contains only 12 hand-colored lithographs (6 birds, 4 scenes, 2 shells) and they are all found in volume II. There are also 10 steel engravings (fish) in volume II.

Volume II of the Narrative is composed of a series of reports, most by expedition members on the topography, geology, botany, agriculture, and resources of the countries visited.

This hand-colored lithograph is from the section entitled Birds, A. -- Birds Collected in Japan. This report in Volume II was prepared by John Cassin, a member of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. Cassin was this country's first serious bird taxonomist and is considered by many naturalists the most informed ornithologist of his era in the United States.

The titles/lettering read:

  • Lith of Wm E Hithcock, Philada


Bottom edge (binding edge) is ragged with pieces missing at right and left. Faint print foxing on face. Nice crisp and sharp colors. While I classify this lithograph as below standard, I believe it would look great matted and framed. The text foxing is not that visible from a few feet away and matting would mask the bottom edge condition. Paper thickness is 10mm.

Landscape Format

Page Size (cm): 28.7x22.3

Image Size (cm): Width-22.4, Height-14.4, Diagonal-26.7


Attribution: This lithograph has been positively confirmed to be from the Beverley Tucker, Senate Printing (1856), of the Narrative.

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Perry Expedition to Japan Books & Lithographs