WEBBER, John (after); HALL, [John] & MIDDIMAN, [Samuel] (engravers).


An Offering before Capt. Cook, in the Sandwich Islands.

[London, 1784].


This engraving after a drawing by Webber comes from the official account of Cook’s Third Voyage, published in 1784.

The Resolution and the Discovery returned to Hawai’i on 17 January 1779. When the vessels arrived at Kealakekua Bay on the western shore of the island, Cook recorded in his journal that about 1000 canoes came out to meet the two ships. Cook was afforded god-like status and Kalani’opu’u (known to the Europeans as Terryaboo, King of Hawaii) took the cloak from his own shoulders and put it around Cook’s. King also mentions that Kalani’opu’u ‘put a feathered cap upon his head, & a very handsome fly flap in his hand: besides which he laid down at the Captain’s feet 5 or 6 Cloaks more, all very beautiful, & to them of the greatest value’.

The scene depicted here most likely took place on 19th January, 1779. Cook, with a cloak around his shoulders, sits with three of his officers in front of a sacred building with 17 Hawai’ian men in front of them, whilst another man kneels to the side of the main group one of the Hawai’ans offers up an animal to Cook. It is interesting to note that the print does not show the many carved idols and skulls impaled on poles recorded by members of the expedition who saw this place.


Engraving with etching, 260 x 405mm (plate size), 425 x 585mm (sheet size), some very light spotting to the margins, small fault (20 x 5mm) to edge of plate mark, not touching image, mounted.


Beddie, 1743 [60].


Stock ID: 98805