Catalog Archive
Auction 161, Lot 729

"[Lot of 21 - Views of Captain Cook's Voyages]", Cook, James (Capt.)

Subject: Pacific Ocean, Polynesia, Alaska, New Zealand, Kamtschatka, Nootka Sound

Period: 1780-1801 (circa)


Color: Black & White

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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.

This fascinating lot includes 21 engravings depicting the amazing sights that Captain Cook encountered on his voyages. Most focus on scenes from Polynesia, but there are images depicting Alaska, New Zealand, Kamtschatka, and Nootka Sound as well. Among the engravings are illustrations of the dress of Tahitian women, tools and military dress from the South Pacific, Captain Wallis in Tahiti, a native man of Kamtschatka with his dogs and sled, and an American polar bear. Most of the collection comes from Relation des Voyages Entrepris par Ordre de Sa Majeste Britannique... (circa 1780) or Troisieme Voyage De Cook, ou Voyage a l'Ocean Pacifique... (circa 1785), but there are individual engravings from Bankes's New System of Geography (circa 1785), Alexander Hogg's A New, Authentic and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World (circa 1785), and George Alexander Cooke's Modern & Authentic System of Universal Geography (circa 1801). The measurements of the charts range from 6.9 x 4.9" to 18.3 x 8.9".

1. Une Jeune Femme de O-Tahiti Dansant.
2. Jeune Femme de O-Tahiti Apportant un Present.
3. Vue de l'Isle d'Huaheine avec la Maison de Dieu, et un Petit Autel Couvert d'Offrandes.
4. Danse d'O-Taiti.
5. Le Corps de Thee, Chef de O-Taiti, tel qu'on le Conservoit Apres sa Mort.
6. Chapeaux des Naturels d'Oonalashka.
7. Instruments des Insulaires de la Mer du Sud.
8. Instruments des Insulaires de la Mer du Sud.
9. Emouchoir des Otahitiens avec ses Manches.
10. Coffre Sculpte des Habitans de la Nouvelle Zelande.
11. Hausse-Col Militaire des Insulaires de la Mer du Sud.
12. View in the Island of Huaheine, and of the Ewharra-no-Eatua, or House of God [on sheet with] View of the House or Shed called Tupapow in Otaheite, Under Which the Dead Are Deposited....
13. Natche, ou Grande Fete en l'Honneur du Fils du Roi de Tongataboo.
14. Vue de la Baye de Matavai a Otahiti Appellee Havre du Port-Royal par le Capitaine Wallis.
15. Cession de l'Isle d'Otahiti au Capitaine Wallis par la Reine Oberea.
16. Fiatooka ou Cimetiere de l'Isle de Tongataboo.
17. Le Capitaine Wallis est Attaque dans le Dauphin par les Otahitiens.
18. Vue de Huaheine.
19. Homme du Kamtchatka Voyageant en Hiver.
20. A View of the Habitations in Nootka Sound.
21. The Large White Bear Found on the Ice, as Also on the Shores of the North West Coast of America.


Condition: B+

Most are dark impressions, and all are very good to near fine. Some of the sheets have light scattered foxing, light toning, and/or marginal soiling.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $150

Closed on 2/8/2017