1785 Anderson Cook Antique Map of The Tonga Islands

Cartographer : Captain James Cook

This fine original antique map of the Tongan Islands, mapped by Capt Cook in the 1770's was published in the 1785 edition of George William Anderson's A New, Authentic, and Complete Collection of Voyages Round The World, Undertaken and Performed by Royal Authority. Account of Captain Cook’s First, Second Third and Last Voyages. Aided Very Materially by a Practical Officer who Sailed in the Resolution Sloop, And Other Gentlemen of the Royal Navy.

Background: Tonga's first contact with the western world came when Dutchmen Schouten and LeMaire came upon the islands in 1616. The Tongans called them palangi, which describes the white clouds of their sails "bursting from the sky." The Europeans found a socially advanced society which had already extended its influence beyond its own islands.

Over a century-and-a-half later, British explorer Captain James Cook was equally impressed in 1773 and gave the Tongans their nickname, the Friendly Islands. Capt. Cook returned in 1774 and 1777, giving the paramount chief or Tu'iTonga a turtle from the Galapagos Islands which roamed the royal palace grounds until it died in 1960.

Spaniard Francisco Francisco Maurelle sailed into the excellent anchorage at Neiafu on the northern island of Vava'u in 1781, claiming the islands for Spain. The intrepid Capt. Bligh and those cast adrift with him from the Bounty mutiny successfully passed through Tongan waters in 1789, though not without some fatal skirmishes. The Spanish king sent Don Alejandro Malaspina on a follow-up voyage a dozen years after Maurelle, but Spanish influence waned as other European sandalwood traders, whalers and Christian missionaries became more prevalent in the first half of the 19th century.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy & stable
Paper color: - Off white
Age of map color: -  
Colors used: -  
General color appearance: -  
Paper size: - 14 1/2in x 9 1/2in (370mm x 245mm)
Plate size: - 14 1/2in x 9 1/2in (370mm x 245mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - Small chipping to margin edges
Plate area: - Light soiling
Verso: - Light soiling