- The Estate
The black and white Chinese pheasant, or common pheasant as it is typically known in Europe, is a species native to Asia that has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. This particular rendering depicts a cock of the species and a companion drawing (labeled number 17, collection of Sumpter Priddy III, Inc.) depicts the hen. According to the description found on page 66 in part II of Edwards A Natural History of Uncommon Birds (London, 1747), the pheasants were originally kept by Sir Hans Sloane at his house in London, where Edwards was given the opportunity to sketch the pair from life. The cock and the hen are depicted together in plate 66. This piece is inscribed 18 in the upper left corner in the artist's hand; the lower left hand corner bears a period pencil inscription of 5 and pheasant in the hand of an unidentified peer of Edwards, who also inscribed the collection of Edwards drawings now in the collection of the British Museum.