Lot 101: 1774 COOK'S FIRST VOYAGE PAUL REVERE ENGRAVING, Frontis Tahitian Girls Dancing

Early American

December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US

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Description: Colonial America
Paul Revere's 1774 Copper-Plate Engraving From Captain Cook's Voyages: "Dramatic Interlude & Dance given by the Indians of Ulietea performed by two Women & Six Men with three Drums" Signed in Plate "P. Revere, Scp."
1774 Published Colonial Era, Paul Revere Copper-Plate Engraving From Captain Cook's Voyages, "Dramatic Interlude & Dance given by the Indians of Ulietea performed by two Women & Six Men with three Drums" Signed within the plate, "P. Revere, Scp.," Fine.
An original Paul Revere Engraved folded frontispiece showing Tahitian girls dancing dshabill, in Vol. I (which is based on Plate VII in Vol. II of the 1773 London edition by Hawkesworth here reduced), showing somewhat vaguer anatomical correctness by Paul Revere than as in the London edition. Overall a good strong dark impression of the much-sought edition with patriot Paul Revere's work. With prior owners' contemporary ink signature "Christopher Dilrean" in the blank marginal selvage above. The blank reverse with early archival fiber tape reinforcement upon the two main book folds and a small .25" x .75" deft expert repair at the bottom margin nowhere near the engraved plate image. Overall, a strong early impression off the Revere plate that would present well properly matted and framed for display. Exceptionally rare.

This important Copper-Plate Engraved Print is by Paul Revere, Jr. (Silversmith of Revolutionary War Fame). The engraved plate size itself measures about 5" x 6.75" and is Signed within the text portion, "P. Revere, Scp." which is located just below the engraved plate border at the lower right. The engraved signature is very clear and easily readable. This Revere print reads: as the Top Header: "to Front the Title of Cooks Voyage Vol. 1st" and Below reads: "Dramatic Interlude & Dance given by the Indians of Ulietea performed by two Women & Six Men with three Drums." This is the only Paul Revere engraved plate that is documented and confirmed by Brigham to be included within this American set of books, as made.

American printing of COOK'S FIRST VOYAGE, by John Hawkesworth, London, here fully entitled: "A New Voyage, Round the World in the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, and 1771; Undertaken by Order of His Present Majesty, Performed by, Captain James Cook, in the Ship Endeavour, Drawn up from His Own Journal, and from the Papers of Joseph Banks.... New York: James Rivington, 1774." This First American Edition represents a classic case of Colonial era authorship piracy, brought out by James Rivington of New York, printed to rival and undercut the imported London edition: "Whosoever would purchase the English Edition of the late Voyage round the World ... must give Three Guineas for it; which excessive price has engaged James Rivington's Proposing to the public, a complete edition of that work... for one dollar and a half" (as quoted in Holmes). Judging from the known subscribers' list, the interest in this work was intense and widespread. Subscriptions came in from all parts of the British North America colonies, including Quebec, Jamaica, Antigua, and Dominica. People of all social classes subscribed, including luminaries such as John Adams, William Franklin, and Silas Deane. Numerous other printers also took on subscriptions, no doubt for their resale.

One example located within the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, another John Carter Brown Library and other institutional collections. First American edition, second issue (with subscriber list ending on p. 17 and Cook's name spelled correctly on title) of the first publication of Cook's first voyage to appear in the British North American colonies. Andrews, Revere, pp. 53-55. Beddie 656. Brigham, Paul Revere's Engraving, pp. 102-105. Evans 13324.
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