C1785

Un Opossum de la Terre Van-Diemen.

Rare engraving from the French edition of Cook’s voyages. The English version title was, An Opossum of Van Diemen’s Land. The English version from which this engraving is based was the first printed image of an Australian possum made at … Read Full Description

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S/N: CKF-03008-ANI-AA–232736
(F028)
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Details

Full Title:

Un Opossum de la Terre Van-Diemen.

Date:

C1785

Condition:

Top margin replaced otherwise in good condition.

Technique:

Copper engraving.

Image Size: 

230mm 
x 157mm
AUTHENTICITY
Un Opossum de la Terre Van-Diemen. - Antique Print from 1785

Genuine antique
dated:

1785

Description:

Rare engraving from the French edition of Cook’s voyages.

The English version title was, An Opossum of Van Diemen’s Land.

The English version from which this engraving is based was the first printed image of an Australian possum made at Adventure Bay. Webber had completed a small group of bird drawings, and one of an possum both of which had been shot and taken aboard.

References: Beddie 1743-8, p.339, Joppien Plate 16, ill.p.16 (watercolour for the engraving)

English version edition was from Cook & King, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean Undertaken by the Command of His Majesty, for Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere….

This engraving is from, Cook & King, Troisieme voyage de Cook, ou journal d’une expédition faite dans la Mer Pacifique du Sud & du Nord, en 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779 & 1780. Traduit de l’anglois.Paris, Pissot & Laporte, 1782. 

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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