Catalog Archive
Auction 169, Lot 757


"[Lot of 3] Nacht-Dans der Vrouwen op Hapaee [and] Vue de l'Isle de Tanna [and] Vue de l'Isle de Rotterdam", Cook/Benard

Subject: Pacific Islands

Period: 1778-95 (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 lot of 3 engravings show natives Cook encountered on his voyages in the Pacific. The first is a Dutch variant on Benard's engraving of a group of women dancing at night in Ha'apai, part of the Kingdom of Tonga. The second depicts natives in the shade on the South Pacific island of Tanna, part of Vanuatu. The last engraving pictures animals and shelter on the island of Nomuka, part of the Ha'apai group in the Kingdom of Tonga.

A. Nacht-Dans der Vrouwen op Hapaee, from Reizen Rondom de Waereld door James Cook, circa 1795, (14.9 x 8.7"). Condition: Issued folding with a binding trim and associated tiny tear at bottom left that have been repaired with archival materials.
B. Vue de l'Isle de Tanna, from Voyage das L’Hemisphere Austral, et autour du Monde..., circa 1778 (14.0 x 8.3"). Condition: There is marginal foxing and two worm tracks in the bottom blank margin.
C. Vue de l'Isle de Rotterdam, from Voyage das L’Hemisphere Austral, et autour du Monde..., circa 1778 (14.1 x 8.3"). Condition: Minor toning and a couple spots in the blank margins.


Condition: A

See description above.

Estimate: $100 - $140

Sold for: $65

Closed on 9/12/2018