1784 Cook Webber Antique Print of Cooks Visit to Christmas Bay Kerguelen Isles

Cartographer : Captain James Cook

This large beautifully hand coloured original antique print of Capt. James Cooks ships the Resolution and Discovery anchored in Christmas Bay, Kerguelen Islands on Christmas day 1776, was engraved by Edward Newton drawn by John Webber during Cooks 3rd voyage of Discovery. The print was published in the 1784 1st edition of 'A Voyage to the Pacific', James Newton, London.

The Resolution and Discovery are anchored in the bay with two boats putting off, another by the shore to right and a man in the foreground raising a stick to kill penguins; a great hill is sited on the opposite side with a rocky outcrop above, a portion of land separated from the mainland by a small channel and a natural stone arch separated from that, in the distance to left. 
These large 1st edition prints were copied many times over the next 50 years but none rival the expertise and detail evident in this original print.

John Webber (1752-93) was the official artist on Cook's final voyage through the Pacific; his drawings formed the basis for printed illustrations to the account of the voyage 'A Voyage to the Pacific', published in 1784.

The Kerguelen Islands, 
sometimes called the Desolation Islands, are located in the southern Indian Ocean and were discovered by the French navigator Yves de Kerguelen-Trémarec in 1772. On Christmas Day, 1776 Cook’s ships Resolution and Discovery anchored in Oiseau Bay, which he named Christmas Harbour. Cook's men discovered a bottle containing a message in Latin left by Kerguelen's men. Cook wrote in his log: “I could have very properly called the island Desolation Island to signalise its sterility, but in order not to deprive M. de Kerguelen of the glory of having discovered it, I have called it Kerguelen Land.”
The Kerguelen Islands or the Kerguelen Archipelago are located in the southern Indian Ocean. The main island, Grande Terre, is 6,675 km² and it is surrounded by another 300 smaller islands and islets, forming an archipelago of 7,215 km². The climate is cold and very windy and the seas are usually rough. The islands are part of a submarine large igneous province called the Kerguelen Plateau.

Cook, again in command of the Resolution, was to approach the Northwest Passage from the Pacific accompanied by a second ship, the Discovery, captained by Charles Clerke. The ships left England separately, regrouped at Cape Town, and continued on to Tasmania, New Zealand, and Tahiti. The expedition then sailed north and made landfall at Christmas Island and the Hawaiian Islands. Cook continued northward and charted the west coast of North America from Northern California as far as the Bering Strait. He returned to Hawaii for the winter and was killed in a skirmish with natives on February 14, 1779. Upon Cook's death, Clerke took command of the expedition but died six months later. The ships returned to England in 1780 under John Gore, who had commanded the Discovery after Cook's death. From start to finish, the voyage had lasted more than four years. (Ref Tooley; M&B; Clancy)

Condition Report:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Early
Colors used: - Green, yellow, blue, red  
General color appearance: - Authentic  
Paper size: - 20in x 14 1/2in (510mm x 370mm)
Plate size: - 16in x 10 1/2in (410mm x 270mm)
Margins: - 2in (50mm)

Margins: - Light spotting
Plate area: - Vertical crease along top of image
Verso: - Light soiling