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This fine original antique print a portrait of a woman from the Island of Ulietea or Raiatea near Bora Bora in the French Polynesia island group in the South Pacific was engraved by the Frenchman Robert Benard - after John Webber who was the officially appointed artist for Captain James Cook's third and final voyage - for the French edition of Cooks voyages published in 1780.
Cook's Third Voyage (1776-1779) In the course of his first two voyages, Cook circumnavigated the globe twice, sailed extensively into the Antarctic, and charted coastlines from Newfoundland to New Zealand. Following these achievements, Cook's third voyage was organized to seek an efficient route from England to southern and eastern Asia that would not entail rounding the Cape of Good Hope. The search for such a Northwest (or Northeast) Passage had been on the agenda of northern European mariners and merchants since the beginning of European expansion in the late fifteenth century. England's growing economic and colonial interests in India in the later eighteenth century provided the stimulus for the latest exploration for this route.
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)
General Description: Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable Paper color: - off white Age of map color: - Colors used: - General color appearance: - Paper size: - 10 1/4in x 7 3/4in (260mm x 200mm) Plate size: - 10in x 7 1/2in (245mm x 190mm) Margins: - 1/2in (12mm)
Imperfections: Margins: - Light age toningPlate area: - None Verso: - Light age toning