C1784

A View of Karakakooa, in Owyhee.

Rare engraving from the official British Admiralty sanctioned edition of the accounts of Cook’s third and final voyage.    Cook entered Kealakekua Bay 17 January 1779 and stayed until March 1779. This remarkable engraving includes many fascinating details, including the … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

A View of Karakakooa, in Owyhee.

Date:

C1784

Condition:

Small repaired tear at right sheet edge, not affecting image, otherwise in good condition.

Technique:

Copper engraving.

Image Size: 

530mm 
x 265mm

Paper Size: 

535mm 
x 400mm
AUTHENTICITY
A View of Karakakooa, in Owyhee. - Antique View from 1784

Genuine antique
dated:

1784

Description:

Rare engraving from the official British Admiralty sanctioned edition of the accounts of Cook’s third and final voyage. 
 
Cook entered Kealakekua Bay 17 January 1779 and stayed until March 1779.
This remarkable engraving includes many fascinating details, including the first view of a surfboard (lower left), as well as a view of the palm-lined village on shore. Cook’s ships remained for five weeks while repairs were made to the masts and rigging as well as the replenishment of the ships’ stores. 

When the Discovery and the Resolution anchored in the waters of Kealakekua Bay, on the Kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, they were greeted by an enormous number of native Hawaiians. 

‘At eleven o’clock in the forenoon, we anchored in the bay in thirteen fathoms water, over a sandy bottom, and about a quarter of a mile from the North East shore..The ships continued to be crowded with much natives and were surrounded by a multitude of canoes. I had nowhere, in the course of my voyages, seen so numerous a body of people assembled at one place. For, besides those who had come off to us in canoes, all the shore of the bay was covered with spectators, and many hundreds were swimming round the ships like shoals of fish. We could not but be struck with the singularity of this scene.’ Cook’s Journals, III, 2,1175

Hawaiian legends had predicted that Lono, one of the four primary gods of the Hawaiian pantheon, would one day return to Hawai’i on “floating islands.” The Discovery and Resolution, far larger than even the largest Hawaiian voyaging canoes, might well have been mistaken for floating islands as they sailed offshore. Many believe that Cook was treated with respectful deference as he was probably thought to be the returning Lono.

Beddie 1743-68, p.341, Joppien 3.293A, ill.p.525

From Cook & King, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean Undertaken by the Command of His Majesty, for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere….

John Webber (1752 - 1793)

Official artist on Cook's third and last voyage. The reasons for the voyage were to return Omai and explore the possibility of a north-west passage along the North American continent. Webber was required to "give a more perfect idea thereof than can be formed by written description." 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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