C1784

The Body of Tee, a Chief, as preserved after Death, in Otaheite.

Rare engraving from the official British Admiralty sanctioned edition of the accounts of Cook’s third and final voyage. All other later copies made of this image by other publishers were unauthorised, usually smaller and inferior in quality. Cook arrived at … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

The Body of Tee, a Chief, as preserved after Death, in Otaheite.

Date:

C1784

Condition:

In good condition

Technique:

Copper engraving.

Image Size: 

405mm 
x 255mm
AUTHENTICITY
The Body of Tee, a Chief, as preserved after Death, in Otaheite. - 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. All other later copies made of this image by other publishers were unauthorised, usually smaller and inferior in quality.

Cook arrived at Matavia Bay, Tahiti on 24th August and stayed until 30 September 1777.

Cook recorded on 10 September 1777;

‘The chief thing that carried me to Oparre was to see an Embalmed corpse, which some of our gentlemen had met with at that place. It proved to be the remains of Tee, a Chief well known to me when I was here last Voyage, it was lying in a Tupapow, in all respects such as one as that at Oaitipeha in which the remains of the late Waheatua lies, embalmed as this was. ….This man had been dead above four months, and the body was so effectually preserved from putrefaction that there was not the least disagreeable smell about it.’ Cook, Journals III, i, 208-9.

Beddie 1743-26, p.339, Joppien 3.110A, ill.p.367

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)

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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