1778 Capt Cook Antique Print New Zealand Flax Plant, near Christchurch in 1773

Cartographer : Captain James Cook

  • Title : Plante de Lin de la Nouvelle Zelande (New Zealand flax plant)
  • Ref  :  31804
  • Size: 14 1/2in x 9 1/2in (365mm x 240mm)
  • Date : 1778
  • Condition: (A) Very Good Condition

This fine original copper-plate engraved antique print of New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax) drawn during Captain James Cooks 2nd Voyage of Discovery in 1773, was engraved by Robert Benard - after William Hodges - and was published in the 1778 French edition of Capt. James Cooks 2nd Voyage of Discovery to the South Seas A voyage towards the South Pole, and round the World. Performed in His Majestys ships the Resolution and Adventure, in the years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775..... Paris : Hotel de Thou ......1778.

Phormium tenax was first discovered on Captain Cooks second expedition to the South Pacific in 1773. It was collected by Johann & son George Forster and described in 1776. It was probably one of the first plants noted upon landing, possibly on black sand beaches north of Christchurch. The toughness of this plant is evidenced by the variety of its habitats, from beaches, river mouths, on coastal cliffs with salt sea spray, to alpine lakes; a plant is ubiquitous throughout the New Zealand landscape.

On 8 February 1773 HMS Resolution and Adventure became separated in the Antarctic fog. Captain Furneaux directed HMS Adventure towards the prearranged meeting point of Queen Charlotte Sound (New Zealand), charted by Cook in 1770. On the way to the rendezvous, Adventure surveyed the southern and eastern coasts of Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen\'s Land), where Adventure Bay was named for the ship. Furneaux made the earliest British chart of this shore, but as he did not enter Bass Strait he assumed Tasmania to be part of Australia. Adventure arrived at Queen Charlotte Sound on 7 May 1773. Cook continued his explorations south-eastwards, reaching 61°21′s on 24 February then, in mid-March he decided to head for Dusky Bay (now Dusky Sound) in the South Island of New Zealand where the ship rested until 30 April. The Resolution reached the rendezvous at Queen Charlotte Sound on 17 May. From June to October the two ships explored the southern Pacific, reaching Tahiti on 15 August, where Omai of Raiatea embarked on Adventure (Omai later became the first Pacific Islander to visit Europe before returning to Tahiti with Cook in 1776)

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 14 1/2in x 9 1/2in (365mm x 240mm)
Plate size: - 14 1/2in x 9 1/2in (365mm x 240mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - Light soiling in margins
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

New Zealand, Aotearoa is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island (or Te Ika-a-Māui), and the South Island (or Te Waipounamu)—and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga.
The first Europeans known to have reached New Zealand were Dutch explorer Abel Tasman and his crew in 1642. In a hostile encounter, four crew members were killed and at least one Māori was hit by canister shot. Europeans did not revisit New Zealand until 1769 when British explorer James Cook mapped almost the entire coastline. Cook revisited New Zealand on voyages 2&3, in 1773 & 1777.

William Hodges RA 1744 – 1797 was an English painter. He was a member of James Cooks second voyage to the Pacific Ocean, and is best known for the sketches and paintings of locations he visited on that voyage, including Table Bay, Tahiti, Easter Island, and the Antarctic.
Between 1772 and 1775 Hodges accompanied James Cook to the Pacific as the expeditions artist. Many of his sketches and wash paintings were adapted as engravings in the original published edition of Cooks journals from the voyage.
Most of the large-scale landscape oil paintings from his Pacific travels for which Hodges is best known were finished after his return to London; he received a salary from the Admiralty for the purposes of completing them. These paintings depicted a stronger light and shadow than had been usual in European landscape tradition. Contemporary art critics complained that his use of light and colour contrasts gave his paintings a rough and unfinished appearance.
Hodges also produced many valuable portrait sketches of Pacific islanders and scenes from the voyage involving members of the expedition..

Robert Bénard 1734 – 1777 was an 18th-century French engraver.
Specialized in the technique of engraving, Robert Ménard is mainly famous for having supplied a significant amount of plates (at least 1,800) to the Encyclopédie by Diderot & d\'Alembert from 1751.
Later, publisher Charles-Joseph Panckoucke reused many of his productions to illustrate the works of his catalog.