C1777

[Flax Plant of New Zealand.]

Rare first c.18th engraving of the New Zealand flax plant from the official British Admiralty sanctioned edition of the accounts of Cook’s second voyage and the first and most superior issue of this engraving. This is the earliest engraving of the … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

[Flax Plant of New Zealand.]

Date:

C1777

Condition:

In good condition, with centre fold as issued. Wide margins and without the usual offsetting.

Technique:

Copper engraving.

Image Size: 

225mm 
x 375mm

Paper Size: 

292mm 
x 430mm
AUTHENTICITY
[Flax Plant of New Zealand.] - Antique Print from 1777

Genuine antique
dated:

1777

Description:

Rare first c.18th engraving of the New Zealand flax plant from the official British Admiralty sanctioned edition of the accounts of Cook’s second voyage and the first and most superior issue of this engraving.

This is the earliest engraving of the New Zealand Flax plant, Phormium tenax, first described by Johann Reinhold Foster on Captain Cook’s second voyage of exploration.

Cook arrived at Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand 12 May 1773 and stayed in the area till 6 June 1773.  Here the botanists on the voyage, the Forsters’, Johann Reinhold and his son George continued their plant collecting, and discovered numerous previously unknown plants. The New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) was used extensively by Maori’s to make cloth and specimens were collected by the botanists at Queen Charlotte Sound. 

From, Cook, J. A Voyage Towards the South Pole, and Round the World, performed in His Majesty’s Ships the Resolution and Adventure, In the Years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775.

 

References:
Beddie, M. Bibliography of Captain James Cook, RN,FRS, Circumnavigator. Sydney 1970: 1381-23, p.269..

Collections:
National Library New Zealand: C-051-030
National Gallery Australia: Accession Number: 2013.4129.9.36

Johann George Foster (1754 - 1794)

Foster was the son of Johann Reinhold Foster. He showed a precocious intellectual ability and was educated in natural history by his father. He was enrolled as a pupil at the Warrington Academy, where his father taught French and German. When approached to join Cook's Resolution, after Bank's scientific party had withdrawn, Johann insisted that his son should travel with him as his natural-history draughtsman. George completed two volumes of drawings of plants containing 361 item on the voyage. These drawings the Fosters sold to Banks in August 1776.

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