Catalog Archive
Auction 164, Lot 725

"Debarquement a Middelburgh, l'Une des Isles Friendly, (des Amis)", Cook/Benard

Subject: Tonga

Period: 1778 (circa)

Publication: Voyage dans l'Hemisphere...

Color: Hand Color

18.1 x 8.3 inches
46 x 21.1 cm
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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 engraving depicts Captain Cook's landing on the island of Eua in the kingdom of Tonga. The local men and women are greeting them with offerings and gifts, while the lead man carries a palm frond. Cook first visited the island in October 1773, which he called "Middleburg" based on the nomenclature given by Abel Tasman. His visit was so welcomed by the native inhabitants, that he gave the islands the nickname "Friendly Islands." Engraved by Benard.


Condition: A

A sharp impression, issued folding with some light damp stains in the bottom blank margin.

Estimate: $160 - $190


Closed on 9/13/2017