Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 268

"Gezigt van de Karakakooa Baai aan het Eiland Owhijhee", Cook, James (Capt.)

Subject: Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii

Period: 1790 (circa)

Publication: Reizen Rondom de Waereld door James Cook

Color: Hand Color

Size:
19.6 x 8.7 inches
49.8 x 22.1 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 uncommon engraving depicts one of the earliest views of Hawaii from Cook's third and final voyage. Cook explored Hawaii before heading north to explore the Pacific coast, where they tracked past the Bering Strait before being turned back by ice. The expedition then sailed south to Hawaii, where Cook was killed in a dispute with the natives at Kealakekua Bay on February 14th, 1779. Clerke, his second-in-command, took over the expedition and they surveyed further in Hawaii before returning north to continue the exploration for the Northwest Passage. This engraving is a spectacular view of the bay where Cook met his end, showing his ships (Resolution and Discovery) and the boats of the native Hawaiians as well as their village. Based on a drawing by John Webber, and published in a Dutch edition of Cook's A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean…

References:

Condition: A

A crisp impression on a bright sheet with minor marginal soiling and binding holes in the left blank margin.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $200

Closed on 4/28/2021

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