Bencoolen Bird & Botanical Drawings

Malay apple
Malay Apple

Flirting with the Singapore theme in a roundabout way, today’s post is a visual feast of beautiful drawings commissioned by Raffles.

Thomas Stamford Raffles established Singapore as a British trading settlement in 1819. A lover of natural history, he collected specimens and commissioned drawings from many artists throughout Southeast Asia.

These are some of the drawings Raffles commissioned from mostly unnamed Chinese artists in Bencoolen (now Bengkulu), Sumatra after his vast collection was lost in a fire on the ship Fame on his journey back to England. Enjoy!

Crested Fireback Pheasant.jpg
Crested Fireback Pheasant
Nutmeg Tree.jpg
Nutmeg Tree
Bay Owl
Bay Owl – J Briois
Lancium Domestican
Lansium Domesticam
Female crested fireback
Female Crested Fireback
Blue-Backed Parrot
Blue-Backed Parrot – J Briois
Nicobar Pigeon
Nicobar Pigeon –  J Briois




If you would like to learn more about Raffles and the works he commissioned in  Bencoolan, Sumatra. Click on the image



If you love some of the images above, The British Library online shop has prints for sale. Click here to see the bird prints
Images courtesy of
The British Library – Flickr and The British Library – Asian and African Studies Blog
No known copyright restrictions

Check out some more images on my Pinterest page



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