Catalog Archive
Auction 144, Lot 276

"Un Opossum de la Terre Van-Diemen", Cook, James (Capt.)

Subject: Tasmania, Prints

Period: 1774 (circa)

Publication: Relation des Voyages Entrepris par Ordre de Sa Majeste Britannique

Color: Black & White

9 x 6.5 inches
22.9 x 16.5 cm

This engraving of a Tasmanian Opossum was engraved by Robert Benard from a drawing by John Webber, who accompanied Capt. James Cook on his third voyage to the Pacific in 1776-1780. John Webber was a 24-year old artist and the son of a Swiss sculptor living in London, who joined Cook's expedition as an official artist and drew many of the animals and natives encountered on the voyage. Although the Opossum in the drawing is anatomically incorrect, Weber often had to draw animals on the run, so that a complete profile was not always available. This engraving was first published in the English edition of Account of the voyages undertaken by the order of His present Majesty for making discoveries in the southern hemisphere by John Hawkesworth in 1773, which was republished in French the following year.


Condition: A

Light toning along sheet edges.

Estimate: $70 - $90

Sold for: $50

Closed on 4/3/2013