Blue Jay on a branch and a butterfly watercolour 21.5 x 30cm (8 7/16 x 11 13/16in). and another, circular, study by the same hand of a macaw and a dragonfly, signed (lower right), 31.5cm diameter. (2)
One bears a label verso inscribed "from Sir Ashton Lever's museum". Ashton Lever was born in 1729 at Alkrington Hall, and gradually accumulated one of the richest private collections of natural objects, including live animals. He opened it to the public in April 1766, in Manchester, moving the museum to his family home at Alkrington Hall, near Rochdale, Lancashire in 1771. In 1774, Lever moved to London, and next year his Holophusicon opened to the public in Leicester Square. Captain James Cook was so impressed by Lever's collection that he donated objects from his own voyages to the museum. A watercolour by Stone depicting the interior of Sir Ashton Lever's museum when at Leicester House, London was sold at Sotheby's Sydney in 2000.