1778 Capt Cook Antique Print of Vaitahu Bay Tahuata Isle, Marquesas Islands 1774

Cartographer : Captain James Cook

  • Title : Vue De La Baye De La Resolution Dans Lisle Des Marquises (View of the Bay, of the Resolution in island of Marquesas)
  • Size: 15 1/2in x 10 1/2in (390mm x 265mm)
  • Ref #:  21464
  • Date : 1778
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition

This large original copper-plate engraved antique print view of Vaitahu Bay on the Island of Tahuata in the Marquesas Islands, South Pacific, visited by Captain James Cook in 1774, during his 2nd Voyage of Discovery to the South Seas, 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.

(April 1774)............On 7th Cook wrote Land was seen bearing WBS distant about 9 Leagues, two hours after saw a nother land bearing SWBS and appeared more extensive than the first. The next morning they saw a third West, I directed my Course for the Channell between these two last lands, under all the Sail we could set, having unsittled Squally Showery weather. Soon after we discovered a fourth land still more to the westward and were now well assured that these were the Marquesas discovered by Mendana in 1595. The first isle is a new discovery, which I named Hoods Island after the young gentleman who first saw it, the second was that of St Pedro, the third La dominica, and the fourth St Christina. Alexander Hood, 16 years of age, was a first cousin of Admiral Lord Hood, The native names of the islands are Fatu Huku, Motane, Hiva Oa and Tahuata, respectively..............

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 15 1/2in x 10 1/2in (390mm x 265mm)
Plate size: - 15in x 9 1/2in (380mm x 245mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

Tahuata is the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean.
The first recorded sighting by Europeans was by the Spanish expedition of Álvaro de Mandaña on 22 July 1595. They charted the island as Santa Cristina. They landed at Vaitahu that they named Madre de Dios (Gods Mother in Spanish). According to the Spanish accounts Tahuata had fowls, fish, sugar cane, plantains, nuts and fruits. The existent town was built on two sides of a rectangular space, the houses being of timber and intertwined canes. A building which the Spaniards supposed to be a religious one stood outside the town, in a space enclosed by palisades, and containing some ill-carved images before which were offerings and provisions. The people had large and well constructed sailing canoes. Their tools were made of shells and fish bones. They used slings, stones, and lances as weapons.
Tahuata was visited by Captain James Cook in 1774 and Admiral Dupetit-Thouars in 1842, who signed the treaty annexing the Marquesas Islands to France.
Vaitahu is the name of a bay and valley in western Tahuata. It is the site of most important village on that island.
Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña landed here on 21 July 1595 and named the town Madre de Dios (Gods Mother in Spanish). In 1774, Captain James Cook landed here, and it was here that Admiral Dupetit-Thouars signed the treaty of annexation of the Marquesas to France, in 1842.

The Marquesas Islands are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collective of France in the southern Pacific Ocean.
The first Europeans to reach the Marquesas may have been the crew of San Lesmes, a Spanish vessel which disappeared in a storm in June 1526; it was part of an expedition headed by García Jofre de Loaísa. The Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña reached them seventy years later on 21 July 1595. He named them after his patron, García Hurtado de Mendoza, 5th Marquis of Cañete (Spanish: Marqués de Cañete), who served as Viceroy of Peru from 1590 to 1596. |Mendaña visited first Fatu Hiva and then Tahuata before continuing on to the Solomon Islands. His expedition charted the four southernmost Marquesas as Magdalena (Fatu Hiva), Dominica (Hiva ʻOa), San Pedro (Moho Tani), and Santa Cristina (Tahuata).
In the late 16th century European explorers estimated the population at more than 100,000. Europeans and Americans were impressed with how easy life appeared to be in the islands, which had a rich habitat and environment. In 1791 the American maritime fur trader Joseph Ingraham first visited the northern Marquesas while commanding the brig Hope. He named them the Washington Islands. In 1813 Commodore David Porter claimed Nuku Hiva for the United States, but the United States Congress never ratified that claim.
In 1842 France conducted a successful military operation on behalf of the native chief Iotete, who claimed he was king of the whole island of Tahuata. The government laid claim to the whole group and established a settlement on Nuku Hiva. That settlement was abandoned in 1857, but France re-established control over the group in 1870. It later incorporated the Marquesas into French Polynesia.

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.