Native Town of Oliliet, Timor Laut.

Rare engraving of Timor made by Captain Owen Stanley while on the 3rd Expedition of the Beagle, 1837-1843. VILLAGE OF OLILIET. “After reaching the top of the ladder we passed through a gateway, evidently intended for defence, and then found … Read Full Description

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S/N: DIAU-01458-ASI-TIMOR–188760
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Full Title:

Native Town of Oliliet, Timor Laut.




In good condition.


Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

x 95mm

Paper Size: 

x 140mm
Native Town of Oliliet, Timor Laut. - Antique View from 1846

Genuine antique



Rare engraving of Timor made by Captain Owen Stanley while on the 3rd Expedition of the Beagle, 1837-1843.

VILLAGE OF OLILIET. “After reaching the top of the ladder we passed through a gateway, evidently intended for defence, and then found ourselves in the village of Oliliet, built on a level space of considerable extent, accessible only from seaward by the path we had ascended, which the removal of the ladders would render impracticable, and on the land side protected by a wall, beyond which the jungle appeared to be very dense.The houses, all raised on piles six or eight feet above the ground, could only be entered by means of a ladder leading through a trapdoor in the floor. The roofs neatly thatched with palm leaves, and formed with a very steep pitch projected considerably beyond the low side-walls, and surmounted at the gables by large wooden horns,* richly carved, from which long strings of shells hung down to the ground, giving the village a most picturesque appearance. (*Footnote. See the view annexed.) The houses were arranged with considerable regularity, so as to form one wide street of considerable extent, from which narrow alleys branched on each side. Our conductor led us to the Oran Kaya, whom we found seated in front of a small house in the widest part of the street, opposite to which there was a circular space marked out by a row of stones placed on the ground, and which appeared to be set aside for religious purposes, as they seemed unwilling we should set foot within it. Here the natives soon afterwards assembled in considerable numbers, and were for some time engaged in serious discussion. ORAN KAYA AND PABOK. The Oran Kaya, who was an elderly man, received us very civilly, and invited us to sit down beside him. Soon afterwards Pabok came up. He was very old, had lost the sight of one eye, and wore an old straw hat of European manufacture, decorated with stripes of red and blue cloth sewn round it. I tried in vain to get more information from him about the European boy; and on pressing him to come down to the boat to receive a present, he made signs he was too old to do so. After remaining a short time in the village, during which one of our party caught a transient glimpse of some of the women, we returned to the beach; where we found that the natives had brought a plentiful supply of coconuts, and they promised to bring some other supplies off in the morning.”

Ferguson, J. A. Bibliography of Australia Volumes 1-8, Canberra 1976 4406.
Wantrup, J. Australian Rare Books. Sydney 1987 89a.

National Library Australia: Bib ID 2842583
State Library New South Wales: CALL NUMBERS MD 2 U 14
State Library Victoria: RARELT 919.4 ST6
Royal Geographic Society SA: RGS Special Coll. 919.4042 S874
Royal Museum Greenwich: ID: PAG8139 (original ink drawing)
State Library of Western Australia: 919.4 STO

Captain Owen Stanley (1811 - 1850)

Stanley was a British Royal Navy officer and surveyor, entered the Royal Naval College at the age of fifteen. After gaining the rank of midshipman in 1826, in 1826–1827, he spent time in South America on board HMS Ganges. In 1830, he was with Phillip Parker King on board HMS Adventure while it surveyed the Straits of Magellan at the tip of South America. In December 1846 Stanley sailed from Portsmouth in charge of HMS Rattlesnake, with the naturalists Thomas Huxley, John MacGillivray and artist Oswald Walters Brierly on board, accompanied by Charles Bampfield Yule in HMS Bramble. In November 1847 he arrived at Port Curtis on the Australian coast, and after surveying the harbour described it as a very good anchorage. In 1848 he continued further north to survey New Guinea, and in June of that year offered protection and assistance to Edmund Kennedy’s expedition to Cape York Peninsula. Owen went on to survey the Louisiade Archipelago but in 1849 fell ill, and died in March 1850 after returning to Sydney.

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