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Lot 379: (WHALING.) Page, William; Hill, J., engraver. Capturing a Sperm Whale.

MAPS & ATLASES; NATURAL HISTORY; PLATE BOOKS

by Swann Auction Galleries

December 8, 2016

New York, NY, USA

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Description: (WHALING.) Page, William; Hill, J., engraver. Capturing a Sperm Whale. Large folio hand-colored aquatint after a painting by Wm. Page, from a sketch by C. B. Hulsart, engraved, printed and coloured by J. Hill. 19x25 inches sight size; large repaired cracks and tears keeping mostly to the upper, left and lower edges, lower tear extending through imprint, repaired without any loss, main image largely unaffected; gilt eglomise frame to style. New York, 1835

Notes: Engraved inscription: "To Messrs. N. & W. W. Billings Merchants of New London, this Print is respectfully inscribed by Cornelius B. Hulsart who lost an arm on board their Ship Superior while engaged in the Whale Fishery in the Pacific Ocean." The dramatic scene depicts a crew in two small whaling boats attacking a large sperm whale with harpoons. One of the boats has been smashed by the tail of the wounded leviathan, spilling the whalers into the sea. The whalers'' mother ship drifts behind the action with another captured whale trussed to her hull. This is believed to be the first American-made whaling print and in any condition: "A very rare print." (1919 Peabody Musuem Special Exhibition of Whaling Pictures catalog).

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