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A Man of Oonalashka
London 1784 - This outstandingly detailed copper-plate engraving, A Man of Oonalashka, reveals the traditional dress of the natives of the Aleutian Islands, in the Northern Pacific Ocean. Measuring 20.75" x 12.25", this engraving is in excellent condition with evidence of previous repair in the margins. The man illustrated wears a tradition head covering and has nose and labret piercings. Captain James Cook (1728-1779) was a British navigator, explorer and cartographer with the Royal Navy. In 1766, Cook began what would be three separate voyages to the Pacific, studying, charting and documenting the Pacific and island inhabitants. The engravings and images produced from these great eighteenth-century voyages presented the world with scientific and ethnographic data, pictorial representations, and cartographic discoveries of the pacific from its northern reaches to its southern extremities for the very first time. For his third and final voyage beginning July 12th 1776, Captain Cook commanded HMS Resolution in search of the Northwest Passage. This voyage was different to his previous two, however. Britain was at war as its American colonies fought for their own sovereignty. The Declaration of Independence had been signed on the Fourth of July, just eight days before the Resolution sailed, and the already perilous journey was now also in danger of capture from American pirates ready to hold the vessels hostage on their voyage home. It is notable that Benjamin Franklin, American Minister to the court of France, wrote a letter requesting free passage for Cook, as a mark of respect for the man himself and also in recognition of the importance of the journey's mission.
      [Bookseller: Arader Galleries San Francisco]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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