Mort Tragique du Capitaine Cook, le 15. Janvier 1779. John WEBBER, after.

Mort Tragique du Capitaine Cook, le Janvier 1779.
Mort Tragique du Capitaine Cook, le 15. Janvier 1779.

[Paris]: [chez Isabey], n.d, but circa 1785.

Engraving, 300 x 220 mm (image size), "Fessard" and "Webber" present as faint scratch signatures.

Desirable proof before caption state

A further near-final proof of the French version before the complete caption has been added and with names in scratch proof form only. A similar proof issue is held in the Bibliothèque Nationale.

A further near-final proof of the French version before the complete caption has been added and with names in scratch proof form only. A similar proof issue is held in the Bibliothèque Nationale.

The official account of Cook's third voyage did not include an image of his death, although some copies did include an added 'Mort de Cook' plate. Nonetheless, as in England, there was tremendous interest in Webber's scene, and this accomplished engraving was issued by Claude-Mathieu Fessard, a prominent French engraver and book artist. This interim proof does not have any imprint details, but Joppien & Smith confirm that the finished print was sold by Isabey, in the rue de Gèvre, Paris.

The final print, as published, included a brief biography of Cook and description of his death engraved below the image as a caption, while the print itself was dedicated to Bougainville. A copy of the finished engraving is known in the Nan Kivell Collection at the National Library of Australia (NK6565). Beddie knew two copies, in the Mitchell and Dixson collections of the State Library of New South Wales.

Beddie, 2615; Joppien & Smith, note to 3.305A.

Condition Report: Some browning, but fine and mounted, evidently disbound at some point, with fragments of old thick paper bordering the edges on the reverse.

Price (AUD): $2,100.00

US$1,496.32   Other currencies

Ref: #2602139

Condition Report