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A Series of Lithographic Drawings
London,: Dickinson Brothers, circa, 1852.. Large folio, 4 pp. (title and text) and nine images on eight coloured lithograph plates; original printed wrapper with red cloth backstrip, preserved in a solander case. One of the finest Pacific illustrated books of the nineteenth century. This is a beautiful copy of the rare coloured issue, complete in the original illustrated wrappers.The superb handcoloured lithographs are by the naval commander Richard Aldworth Oliver. Oliver (1811-1889) commanded the HMS Fly on survey voyages of New Zealand and Pacific waters between 1847 and 1851, including acting as escort to Selwyn's schooner Undine to New Caledonia and the New Hebrides in 1849. It was during these voyages that he observed the Maori people first-hand and recorded the New Zealand and New Caledonian landscape for this publication. His personal observations of New Zealand during 1848-9 are also recorded in a manuscript journal, in the collection of the National Maritime Museum, London.The suite of views and portraits prepared by Oliver for the publication include "Chief Te Rangihaeta", "A Korero", "A Tangi (at Motoneka)", "The Falls of Kirikiri", "A Stranger's House (Houraki Pah)", "Half Castes of Pomare's Pah (Bay of Islands)", "Puebo (New Caledonia)" and portraits of two boys Harry Bluff and Johnny, who were 'half-castes, probably the children of whalers'.There were two issues of the work: a tinted issue and this rarer handcoloured version, which was issued at the substantial price of two guineas. Evidently the high price kept sales low, as an inserted slip (present in this copy) states: 'In consequence of the Subscription list for Capt. Oliver's work on New Zealand being not yet sufficiently filled with names, it is considered expedient to postpone bringing out more Parts of the work, until the number of names should be increased'.This was Oliver's only printed work, although a large number of his watercolour views and portraits survive in New Zealand institutional collections. Hocken and Bagnall date the book 1852, as does Abbey, while the BMC dates it 1853.Bagnall, 4339; Hocken, p. 167; Tooley, 349.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-16           Check availability:      Biblio    

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