c1780 2nd Deuxieme Voyage of Captain Cook Atlas Book


A stunning 18th century leather-bound atlas entitled ‘Voyages de Cook Atlas’, from the series of books documenting the 2nd Voyage of Captain James Cook.

The book consists of 61 engraved plates printed by the publishers Bernard Direx of Paris. The engravings address diverse subjects such as, cartography, geography, ethnology and ethnography.

Notable examples include:

- 2 large fold out diagrams for the building of canoes and war canoes
- Plate of Omai, young native of Tahiti serving in the Royal Navy
- King of Tahiti, Various chiefs of the South Sea Islands
- Scientific Engravings (Botanic/Zoological)
- Cartographic Engravings of places visited during the 2nd Voyage
- Ethnographical Studies of the Islanders (showing marked diversity in features for islands so close geographically to one another)
- Geographical Land/Seascapes
- Native Ceremonies, Rituals and Scenes (Ethnological Engravings
- Detailed drawings of the local tools and weapons.

In 1772 Captain James Cook set out on his second voyage. Commissioned by the British Government with advice from the Royal society, the voyage sought to locate the fabled great Southern Continent. During his voyage he would pass through the Friendly Isles, Easter Island, Norfolk Island, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Vanuatu, documenting the culture and customs of these remote lands. In 1775 he would return to England and put to rest the myth of a Great Southern Continent, all the while predicting that an Antarctic land lay beyond the ice barrier.

The book has worn substantially over time, losing a handful of plates and sections of the leather binding. The spine is still stable and the engravings have remained in good condition, aside from the spotting, fraying and minor tears one would expect from a book of this age.

Dimensions: 26.5 x 21.5 x 3.5cm
Weight: 1153g