C1784

Sea Horses, found on the Ice, near the West Coast of North America.

Small version of Cook’s party on the north west coast of America. From 11 August to 3 September, 1778 Cook’s ships had a harrowing time sailing through the Arctic’s ice covered seas and were in need of supplies. On the … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

Sea Horses, found on the Ice, near the West Coast of North America.

Date:

C1784

Condition:

Perforations at top sheet edges, otherwise in good condition.

Technique:

Copper engraving.

Image Size: 

183mm 
x 108mm

Paper Size: 

210mm 
x 130mm
AUTHENTICITY
Sea Horses, found on the Ice, near the West Coast of North America. - Antique Print from 1784

Genuine antique
dated:

1784

Description:

Small version of Cook’s party on the north west coast of America. From 11 August to 3 September, 1778 Cook’s ships had a harrowing time sailing through the Arctic’s ice covered seas and were in need of supplies.

On the 19th August Cook sent two boats to hunt the large colony of walruses that had been seen from the ship. By seven that evening seven were brought on board the Resolution.

‘The sea horse, also known as the morse, is now called the walrus. Ledyard described them as, between a quadrupede and a fish, their heads are somewhat like those of a dog, without ears, except two large white tusks that project downward from the upper jaw… they have a thick skin like that of a horse. Gilbert considered the name sea horse. Why they are so called I can’t imagine, for they bear not the smallest resemblance to that animal.’ Cook Journals III, i, 419.

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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