This series contains watercolours of toas by Rosa Catherine Fiveash (see SAMA 970) which she copied from drawings by Harry Hillier. Hillier was contracted by Sir Edward Charles Stirling (see AA 309) to make coloured drawings of each toa. The Fiveash copies for each toa was pasted onto cards which were numbered X-XIX in preparation for publication and then onto masonite. The publication plates, however, were renumbered XI-XX so each original card was given the next number eg card number IX was given publication plate number X. The plates were published in Stirling and Edgar Ravenswood Waite's (see AA 356) 'Description of Toas or Australian Aboriginal direction signs' in Records of the South Australian Museum Vol 1 No 2, pp105-167 (see AA 266/2/1).
The description of toas was translated from the German by Stirling, his daughter Mrs TB Robertson and Mr Frederick Robert Zietz. The translations were continued by Waite as Stirling died before the work was completed. The published article lists 322 toas of the 385. Items AA 266/1/2-11 are are listed using the Stirling and Zietz publication. Item AA 266/1/1 however is taken from another translation of Reuther's list that contains 384 toas (see AA 266/2/24).
The toas were purchased from Rev. Reuther in 1907.