Collection online

drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1906,0509.1.23

  • Description

    The wife of a Timucuan chief of Florida; with ear ornaments and painted marks or tattoos, holding corn cobs and bowl Pen and brown ink and watercolour over graphite, with bodycolour, touched with gold and silver (?) (altered)

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1585-1593
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 261 millimetres
    • Width: 135 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed in brown ink: "Of Florida ." and in graphite: "23"
  • Curator's comments

    The following text is taken from K. Sloan, 'A New World: England's First View of America' (London, 2006), no. 20, pp. 136-7:
    Heavily tattooed like her husband, with additional lines on her forehead and from her mouth to her chin, the woman wears oblong inflated fish bladders in her ears, as described in the French accounts. Her fingernails are also long like her husband’s; some European writers noted that the Indians expressed surprise that Europeans trimmed theirs, destroying the useful tools and weapons with which nature had provided them. Bead necklaces are recorded but gold ones were not; though certainly copper would be possible. She offers maize and possibly prickly pears in a pottery bowl of a shape known in the region. She wears a garment made of Spanish moss, usually a bluish-grey, described in other accounts, but the red and white border is unique.

    [relates to : de Bry America Pt II, pl XXXIX Florida chief with wife and attendants [PH+DBQ pl 144 b] ]

    Lit.: LB 1(24); Quinn, p. 462; ECM 62; PH&DBQ 113(a); PH 62; Hulton, Le Moyne, p. 185

    For the Spanish moss, see Max Carocci, 'Clad with the "Hair of Trees": A History of Native American Spanish Moss Textile Industries' in Textile History, 41 (1), 3-27, May 2010.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Binyon 1898-1907 1(24) bibliographic details
    • Hulton & Quinn 1964 113(a) bibliographic details
    • Sloan 2007 20 bibliographic details
    • Croft-Murray 1960 62 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British Roy PI)

  • Exhibition history

    1965 Jan 30-Feb 22, NGC, Washington, John White, no.89
    1965 26 Feb-14 Mar, NC Mus of Art, Raleigh, John White, no. 89
    1965 17 Mar-5 Apr, NY, Pierpont Morgan Libr, John White, no. 89
    2007 Mar-Jun, BM, 'A New World:...', no.20
    2007/8 Oct-Jan, Raleigh, North Carolina Mus of History, 'A New World:...'
    2008 Mar-Jun, New Haven, Yale Center for British Art, 'A New World:...'
    2008 Jul-Oct, Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, 'A New World:...'
    NOT TO BE LENT UNTIL 2020 AT THE EARLIEST

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1866

  • Acquisition notes

    The provenance given above refers to the moment when the album of drawings connected with John White was purchased by the Department of Manuscripts in what is now the British Library. The album was transferred to the Department of Prints and Drawings in 1906, where it was assigned new register numbers.

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1906,0509.1.23

Indian Woman of Florida; with ear ornaments and painted marks or tattoos, holding corn cobs (?) and bowl Pen and brown ink and watercolour over graphite, with bodycolour, touched with gold and silver (?) (oxidised)

Indian Woman of Florida; with ear ornaments and painted marks or tattoos, holding corn cobs (?) and bowl Pen and brown ink and watercolour over graphite, with bodycolour, touched with gold and silver (?) (oxidised)

Image description

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Object reference number: PDB75

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