An original engraving c1784, by William Sharp after the original drawing by John Webber (1751-1793). Webber was the official artist on Captain Cook’s Pacific expeditions on board The Resolution 1776-1780, Webber’s artwork was presented to the British Admiralty who published it as part of the official account of the expeditions ‘A Voyage to the Pacific’.
The following information is from the Auckland Art Gallery:
‘Cook and his crew did not land at the island of Mangaia (the southern most of the Cook Islands group) due to the reef surrounding it, instead overnighting in its waters before continuing on their course. During this time a canoe manned by two oarsmen approached them which John Webber sketched. Cooks boat later encountered one of the paddlers, Mou’rooa (Mourua), who boarded the Resolution with some trepidation and provided information about the island. It is likely that this is the Mangaian depicted by Webber in this engraving.’
This rare engraving is not only a beautifully decorative exotic portrait, it is a piece of art with fascinating history and intrigue, from a frontier age of exploration, when undiscovered lands were being found.
In great antique condition with some mild foxing to the edges; professionally framed behind gallery grade plexi acylic, in a black ebonised, beaded wooden frame, and off white fabric textured mat board.
Measures including frame: 46cm wide, 54.5cm high.