"[Lot of 3] View of the Fleet of Otaheite [on sheet with] View of the Island of Otaheite [and] Habit of a Young Woman of Otaheite Dancing [on sheet with] Habit of a Young Woman of Otaheite... [and] A View of the New Discover'd Island of Ulietea...", Cook, James (Capt.)
Subject: Tahiti, Raiatea
Period: 1785-93 (circa)
Color: Black & White
Captain James Cook (1728-1779) is best known for his three voyages to the Pacific (1768-71; 1772-75; and 1776-79). His discoveries radically changed the western understanding of the world in the late 18th century. He was the first to circumnavigate and chart New Zealand and provided the earliest European accounts of exploration along the eastern coast of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands. On February 14th, 1779, he was killed on Hawaii after attempting to kidnap the chief of the island.
Many contemporary accounts of Cook’s voyages, including charts and engravings, appeared in the late 18th century. The first official account of Cook’s first voyage was published in 1773 by John Hawkesworth in Volumes II and III of An Account of the Voyages Undertaken by the Order of His Present Majesty for Making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere... William Strahan and Thomas Cadell published the first official accounts of the second and third voyages in 1777 and 1784. Accounts of his exploration were subsequently translated into French, German, and Dutch.
A. View of the Fleet of Otaheite [on sheet with] View of the Island of Otaheite, circa 1793 (7.0 x 11.5"). Two fascinating views of Tahiti on the same sheet. At top, an impressive cluster of war canoes and other craft fill the water in an illustration of the review of the Tahitian fleet that Captain Cook witnessed in 1774. The second image is a view of the mountainous shore from the water, with boats sailing in the foreground. Engraved by Grainger. Condition: On watermarked paper with some faint spots mostly in the blank margins. (A)
B. Habit of a Young Woman of Otaheite Dancing [on sheet with] Habit of a Young Woman of Otaheite Bringing a Present, from Bankes's New System of Geography, circa 1785 (12.7 x 8.6"). Another set of Tahitian views, these focused on the dress of native women. On the left, a woman in sophisticated formal dress and hat sways in front of a nature scene. The illustration on the right shows a woman in a massive, barrel-like skirt. Engraved by C. Warren. Condition: Minor soiling. A chip in the top left corner has been replaced with old paper, well away from image. (B+)
C. A View of the New Discover'd Island of Ulietea, with Some of Its Inhabitants, a Double Canoe, and Other Small Craft..., from Bankes's New System of Geography, circa 1785 (10.9 x 7.0"). This copper engravings depicts a scene of life on Raiatea, the French Polynesian island visited by Cook on all three of his voyages. It shows the bustling activity of natives on the beach, a double canoe and other craft out on the water, and another double canoe sheltered on shore. Condition: On watermarked paper. (A)
See description above.