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Catalogue record

Creator: Hoare, William Webster, 1841-1927

Object Source: PRG 294/4/16

Date of creation : 1869

Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for personal research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.

Format : Artwork, 300 x 430 mm

One of twenty three original artworks of marine and plant life (originally in a sketchbook), executed by William Hoare, with notes by Peter Walker linking the artworks to references in Hoare's diary.

Hoare's images of crabs are precise and scientific in appearence. Firstly sketched in pencil, the artist has used vivid reds and browns and close attention has been paid to individual characteristics. The artist has taken care to realistically interpret the specimen.

The specimens were unidentified but have since been identified as marine crabs by Thierry Laperousaz, Collection Manager, Marine Invertebrates at the South Australian Museum on 11 August 2009. The crab in the top row is Lophozozymus incisus family Xanthidae. The crab in the second row is Charybdis [possibly acuta] family Portunidae. The crab in the bottom row left is Liomera [possibly venosa] family Xanthidae. The crab in the bottom row right is Pilumnus sp family Pilumnidae.

William Webster Hoare migrated to South Australia with his brother, P.E. Hoare, aboard the Irene in 1862. He was apparently trained as a pharmacist and obtained a position with the 1868 -1870 Goyder Surveying Expedition to the Northern Territory as assistant to the surgeon, Dr Peel. He filled his spare time in the camp sketching, and his notebook (series 1) contains many small sketches of natural history that he later worked up into full-size watercolour illustrations (series 4).

Goyder, recognising his talent and the contribution he could make, supported these endeavours, providing him with materials and time to work with the expedition's naturalist, Friedrich Schultze. After Hoare's return to Adelaide in 1870, he worked as a dispensing chemist before returning to Britain via New Zealand.

George Woodroffe Goyder was appointed Surveyor-General in 1861. He undertook several surveys in northern South Australia (1857-1866) and was instrumental in determining the line of demarcation between agricultural and pastoral land known as Goyder's Line.

The Library holds the papers of William Webster Hoare comprising artworks, photographs, scrapbooks and diary and map kept on the Northern Territory Survey Expedition 1868-1869, and notes about Hoare by Dr Philip Jones from the South Australian Museum.

Other sketches in the series include: Amyema loranthacea; Glaucus pacificus; Triacanthus biaculeatus (short nosed tripod fish); native plum; Taeniura lymma (blue spotted fantail stingray); orchids; Syzygium myrtaceae (type of lilly pilly); various flowering vines; and fish.


Further reading

Biology of the land crabs edited by Warren W. Burggren and Brian R. McMahon. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988

Goyder, G. W. Survey of Northern Territory, Adelaide: Govt. Printer, 1869

Kerr, Margaret. The surveyors: the story of the founding of Darwin, Adelaide: Rigby, 1971

Warner, G. F. The biology of crabs, London: Elek, 1977


Stereoscopic view illustrating the Northern Territory Survey Expedition, led by George W. Goyder, 1868-70, at the main camp in Darwin ca.1869

The stables of the Goyder Survey Expedition party in Darwin ca.1870

Oil sketch on paper of Port Darwin showingthe main camp of the Northern Territory Survey Expedition 1868-1870

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