C1833

Observatoire de L'Astrolabe. Dans lune des Anses de Houa Houa.

Scarce lithograph of Tolaga Bay (North of Gisborne) by Louis de Sainson, artist on the Dumont D’Urville expedition. The Astrolabe had entered the bay in early February, and was of much interest to local Maori. Many waka came to view … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

Observatoire de L’Astrolabe. Dans lune des Anses de Houa Houa.

Date:

C1833

Condition:

In good condition

Technique:

Hand coloured lithograph.

Image Size: 

315mm 
x 210mm

Paper Size: 

535mm 
x 342mm
AUTHENTICITY
Observatoire de L'Astrolabe. Dans lune des Anses de Houa Houa. - Antique View from 1833

Genuine antique
dated:

1833

Description:

Scarce lithograph of Tolaga Bay (North of Gisborne) by Louis de Sainson, artist on the Dumont D’Urville expedition.

The Astrolabe had entered the bay in early February, and was of much interest to local Maori. Many waka came to view the boat and the crew were pleased to replenish supplies there. Officers went ashore to make observations, as did de Sainson and the naturalist. D’Urville made an interesting observation regarding the naming of the Bay, “It is worthy of remark that the names of Tolaga…are quite unknown to the Natives; but it has long since been averred that Cook, so full of sagacity otherwise, had little aptitude in acquiring the names of the peoples he visited, and, above all, in representing them in writing. The true name of the bay, Tologa, or, at least, of the district which surrounds it, is Houa-Houa, and it is that which we have adopted.” Houa-Houa was the French attempt at Uawa, the Maori name for the area. This plate shows Maori by a stream leading into the sea, in the distance are three waka. The scene is framed by toe toe and a tree stump.

D’Urville had sailed from Port Jackson on 19.12.26 and sighted the south coast of New Zealand on 10th January 1827 near the site of present day Greymouth. Although his instructions were to carry out a little charting in Cook Strait, D’Urville’s plan was much more ambitious – he was to chart at least half of the coast of New Zealand, thereby providing a clear challenge to the supposition that Cook’s survey had placed the islands firmly in the British Domain. He charted the islands during January to March of 1827 from just south of Cape Foulwind (west coast of the South Island), past Farewell Spit, into Golden and Tasman Bays, through Cook Strait, and up the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, from its southernmost to its northernmost point.

From Dumont D’Urvilles, Voyage de la corvette l’Astrolabe. Atlas historique.

Collections:
Auckland Art Gallery: Accession no2009/3/8
National Library Australia: Bib ID 2684502

Louis Auguste de Sainson (1800 - 1887)

French artist on the voyage of exploration on board the Astrolabe under the command of Dumont D’Urville which explored and visited the Pacific, Asia, New Zealand and Australia. He began his naval career at the port of Rochefort, working there from 21 August 1825 until 6 January 1826, where he joined the Astrolabe as a draughtsman. The Astrolabe visited Australia from October to December 1826 and De Sainson made a number of drawings of King George Sound (WA), Westernport VIC), and Jervis Bay NSW and Sydney). On the Astrolable’s return to Australian waters during December 1827 to early January 1828 the Astrolabe anchored at Hobart Town where de Sainson made a number of important drawings of Hobart and its environs. On his return to France de Sainson was part of the editorial group that made the official account Historical Atlas of the expedition ready or publication. In November 1829, at Dumont d’Urville’s request, de Sainson was promoted commis de marine 3e classe. He became a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneurin August 1831 and a commis de 2e classe in September 1833. Further biographical information is not available after this time.

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