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Signal Crayfish
Graphite and Gold Leaf on Paper
Approx 59x84cm (unframed)

This drawing continues the Invasive Species of London series, by merging a study of a Signal Crayfish seen at Billingsgate Market (the largest fish market in the UK), with the arms of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers.

The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers is one of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies. The Company can trace its roots back to 1272 when it received its first Royal Charter. The variant of the Arms of the Company depicted in this drawing date from 1512. Even today, alongside its work as a significant educational charity, the Company's staff still inspect all fish imported to the City and retain very strong links with Billingsgate Market. The Company motto (partly shown here in 22 carat gold leaf) is 'Al Worship be to God Only' (sic).

Native to North America, Signal Crayfish are a controversial invasive species in the UK. First introduced in 1976 as part of efforts to combat a European crayfish plague, they have subsequently out-competed the local stock almost entirely out of existence.