This one-of-a-kind, original watercolor was part of a natural history watercolor album by Eliza Harriet Slaney and produced circa 1836. The watercolors featured subjects of birds, flowers, & butterflies and moths. The species were from New Holland / Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Cayenne, South America, Africa, and India.
The sheer quantity of watercolors done by Slaney sets her natural history work apart. Also the use of scientific nomenclature and the noted country of origin were important features of her work. Exotic flora and fauna were highly in demand at this time, and well represented in Slaney’s work.
Little is known about Eliza Harriet Slaney (1804-1893). She illustrated natural history and country houses. Her use of color and attention to detail made her work exceptional. The Slaney family were part of the natural history elite and knew the Darwins.
It was extraordinarily rare to have natural history art from women artists in this era and before, making this original watercolor more exceptional. Slaney took great care in the depictions and composition. Many of the images feature beautiful gold hilites as well.