1780 Cook Benard Antique Map of the Tongan Islands, South Pacific

Cartographer : Captain James Cook

  • Title  : Varte Des Isles Des Amis
  • Date  : 1780
  • Condition (A+) Fine Condition
  • Ref # : 32166
  • Size  : 14in x 9in (355mm x 230mm) 


This fine beautifully hand coloured original antique map of the South Pacific Island group of Tonga was engraved by Robert Benard - after Captain James Cooks 1st voyage to the South Seas - and was published in the 1st French edition of Cooks voyages in 1780.

Cook's First Voyage (1768-1771)
The first voyage under Captain James Cook's command was primarily of a scientific nature. The expedition on the Endeavour initially sailed to Tahiti to observe the transit of the planet Venus in order to calculate the earth's distance from the sun. Cook landed on the South Pacific island in April of 1769 and in June of that year the astronomical observations were successfully completed. In addition to these labors, very good relations with the Tahitians were maintained and the naturalists Joseph Banks and Daniel C. Solander conducted extensive ethnological and botanical research. Another purpose of the voyage was to explore the South Seas to determine if an inhabitable continent existed in the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. Upon leaving Tahiti, Cook named and charted the Society Islands and then continued southwest to New Zealand. His circumnavigation and exploration of that country also resulted in a detailed survey. Cook proceeded to Australia, where he charted the eastern coast for 2,000 miles, naming the area New South Wales. As a result of these surveys, both Australia and New Zealand were annexed by Great Britain. In addition to these explorations, the Endeavour returned to England without a single death from scurvy among its men, an historic feat at the time. The combination of these accomplishments brought Cook prominence, promotion, and the opportunity to lead further expeditions.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Light and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: -  Early
Colors used: - Green, yellow, red,  
General color appearance: -  Authentic
Paper size: - 14in x 9in (355mm x 230mm)
Plate size: - 13 1/2in x 8in (340mm x 205mm)
Margins: - 1/4in (6mm)

Margins: - Professional repair to top margin & border
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None