C1784

A Man of the Sandwich Islands, Dancing.

Rare c.18th engraving by John Webber of a Hawaiian dancing from the official British Admiralty sanctioned edition of the accounts of Cook’s third and final voyage. A Hawaiian solo dancer pictured in this image is seen holding an uli’uli, a … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

A Man of the Sandwich Islands, Dancing.

Date:

C1784

Condition:

In good condition, with full wide margins.

Technique:

Copper engraving.

Image Size: 

180mm 
x 250mm

Paper Size: 

400mm 
x 555mm
AUTHENTICITY
A Man of the Sandwich Islands, Dancing. - Antique Print from 1784

Genuine antique
dated:

1784

Description:

Rare c.18th engraving by John Webber of a Hawaiian dancing from the official British Admiralty sanctioned edition of the accounts of Cook’s third and final voyage.

A Hawaiian solo dancer pictured in this image is seen holding an uli’uli, a feather-covered gourd rattle. On his calves are leggings made of loose-hanging dog’s teeth. Called kupe’e niho ‘ilio, they weighed up to ten pounds and included as many as 1,356 teeth, adding rhythmic accompaniment to the dancer’s leg movements. The tattoos on the dancer’s arms and legs are an example of the elaborate decoration in Hawaii.

Beddie 1743-62, p.342, Joppien 3.301A, ill.p.533

From Cook & King, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. Performed under the Direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, in His Majesty’s Ships the Resolution and Discovery; in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780.

References:
Beddie, M. Bibliography of Captain James Cook, RN,FRS, Circumnavigator. Sydney 1970:1743-62, p.342
Joppien,R. & Smith, B. The Art of Captain Cook’s Voyages; Vol. I, II & III. Melbourne 1985-1987: 3.301A, ill.p.533
Forbes, D. Hawaiian National Bibliography 1780- 1830. Honolulu /Sydney, 1999/2003 62; cf.
Carter, J. & Muir, P. Printing and the Mind of Man London 1983 223.
Sabin, J. A Dictionary of Books Relating to America, from its Discovery to the Present Time. New York. (1936) 1967. 16250.
Hill, J. The Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages. San Diego 1974 321.

Collections:
Art Gallery of New South Wales: Accession number 209.1990-46
State Library New South Wales: CALL NUMBERS RB/F990A/9
State Library Victoria: RARELT 910.41 C773VS
State Library South Australia: Special Collection: 919 C771

John Webber (1752 - 1793)

John Webber was an 18th century artist, best known for his work as the official artist on Captain James Cook's third and final voyage to the Pacific in 1776-1780. He was born in London, England in 1751 and was trained as an artist. Webber accompanied Cook on his voyage as the official artist, tasked with creating drawings and paintings of the places and people they encountered. He produced many illustrations and sketches that were used to make engravings for inclusion in the official account of the voyage, published after Cook's death. Webber was required to "give a more perfect idea thereof than can be formed by written description." Webber's illustrations and engravings of the Pacific islands and their inhabitants are considered some of the most accurate and detailed depictions of the region from that time. They provide an important record of the places and people encountered by Cook and his crew, and are valuable for understanding the culture and daily life of the people of the Pacific during the 18th century. He died in London in 1793, after having returned from the voyage, but his work continues to be recognised as an important historical record of the voyage and of the art of his time. Webber's oeuvre from the voyage was the most comprehensive record of sights in the Pacific region ever produced.

View other items by John Webber

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