Catalog Archive
Auction 161, Lot 299

The First Printed Map of Hawaii

"Chart of the Sandwich Islands", Cook, James (Capt.)

Subject: Hawaii

Period: 1785 (published)

Publication: A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean

Color: Hand Color

18.1 x 10.8 inches
46 x 27.4 cm

The copper engravings from A New, Authentic and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World…Complete Historical Account of Captain Cook's First, Second, Third and Last Voyages… Edited by George William Anderson and published by Alexander Hogg in London, 1784-86. Cook's discoveries in the Pacific formulate the final chapter in 18th Century exploration. These engravings provide a delightful view of the discoveries, people and customs of the Pacific region.

Although the first printed map of Hawaii is credited to Captain James Cook, it was prepared for publication by Lieutenant Henry Roberts, who prepared all of the maps for the three-volume narrative of Cook's final voyage. Roberts drew the map from a now-missing survey by William Bligh (of Mutiny on the Bounty fame) who was Sailing Master on the HMS Resolution. The map is a landmark in Hawaiian cartography and provided the basis for all subsequent mapping of the islands. The routes of the Resolution and the Discovery around the islands are carefully traced with nice topographical detail on each island. A large inset of Karakakooa Bay (Kealakekua Bay) is featured with details of soundings, navigational hazards and the anchorages of the two ships, and quaint depictions of houses, palm trees, and fields inland. Cook spent his last few weeks in Kealakekua Bay before dying in a confrontation with natives on February 14, 1779. Engraved by William Harrison and published by Nicol and Cadell.

References: Fitzpatrick, pp. 15-18, plt. 2.

Condition: B+

Issued folding on paper with a partial watermark of "SM" at top right. There is light offsetting and two tiny worm holes at bottom center. Trimmed close to neatline on three sides.

Estimate: $800 - $950

Sold for: $600

Closed on 2/8/2017