Watercolour captioned "Sturt's Desert Pea. Full size."

England? circa 1840.

Watercolour drawing heightened with gum arabic, within an ink border, 202 x 145mm; mounted on blue paper probably from an album.

Early watercolour

A charming early depiction of Sturt's Desert Pea, the floral emblem of South Australia, first collected by William Dampier off the coast of Western Australia in 1699. Nowadays, specimens cannot be collected in the wild without a permit or, on private land, without written permission from the owner.

A charming early depiction of Sturt's Desert Pea, the floral emblem of South Australia, first collected by William Dampier off the coast of Western Australia in 1699. Nowadays, specimens cannot be collected in the wild without a permit or, on private land, without written permission from the owner.

Sturt's Desert Pea (Willdampia formosa or Swainsona formosa) was formerly called Clianthus formosus. Its newer names are derived from Dampier and from the botanist Isaac Swainson (1746-1812) who maintained an important private garden near London in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The plant's common name derives from the explorer Charles Sturt, who saw vast drifts of them when he was exploring the central regions of South Australia. The flower is famous for its blood-red-leaf-like flowers, each with a bulbous black centre.

Price (AUD): $1,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4106613

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