London: G. Nichol and T. Cadell, 1785. First printing. Archivally matted. Fine original copperplate engraving in the first edition by Peter Mazell after drawing by J. Webber. Sheet size: 56 x 40.2 cm. Plate mark: 26.8 x 20 cm. Scene: Reclining Nootka Sound Sea Otter on shore with rocks and vegetation. Scene sketched by John Webber (British 1751-1793), and engraved for the publication of the Cook's Third Voyage by Peter Mazell (British 1761-1797). An important composition illustrating one of the major reasons for the fervent discovery, exploration and claim of the Northwest Coast during the late 18th century: the otter trade.
Cook's Third Voyage:
Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, undertaken by Command of His Majesty, for making discoveries in the northern hemisphere, to determine the position and extent of the west side of North America, its distance from Asia, and the practicability of a northern passage to Europe, performed under the direction of Captains Cook, Clerke and Gore, in his Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery in the years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779 and 1780.
The objective of the Third Voyage was to search for the North-West Passage from the western side of North America, and continue the surveying of the Pacific. In addition to the exploration, charting and documentation of the Northwest Coast from the Bering Straits to Northern California, the Expedition also named Tasmania, New Zealand & the Cook, Tonga & Hawaiian Islands.
Cook was murdered in Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii. The narrative of Cook's Third Voyage was compiled by James King, who succeeded James Cook as Commander upon Cook's death. "This voyage resulted in what Cook judged his most valuable discovery- The Hawaiian Islands." Hill p. 62. Fine. Item #6341