Item #5000293 Voyages made in the years 1788 and 1789, from China to the North West coast of America. To which are prefixed, an Introductory Narrative of a Voyage performed in 1786, from Bengal, in the ship Nootka; observations on the probable existence of a North West Passage; and some account of the trade between the North West coast of America and China…. John MEARES.
Voyages made in the years 1788 and 1789, from China to the North West coast of America. To which are prefixed, an Introductory Narrative of a Voyage performed in 1786, from Bengal, in the ship Nootka; observations on the probable existence of a North West Passage; and some account of the trade between the North West coast of America and China…

Voyages Made in the Years 1788 and 1789, from China to the North West Coast of America…
Voyages made in the years 1788 and 1789, from China to the North West coast of America. To which are prefixed, an Introductory Narrative of a Voyage performed in 1786, from Bengal, in the ship Nootka; observations on the probable existence of a North West Passage; and some account of the trade between the North West coast of America and China…

London: Logographic Press, 1790.

Quarto, with altogether 28 plates (including ten maps, three of them folding; four portraits including the frontispiece; seven views, three of them folding; and six coastal profiles, four of them double-page); contemporary marbled calf, joints repaired preserving original gilt-decorated spine panels, later label; a very good copy.

Hawaii and the Northwest coast, superbly illustrated

First edition of this finely illustrated book. The striking images use a variety of techniques including aquatint or stipple engraving for most of the splendid portraits and views. They include aquatint views of the Philippines, Macao, Nihoa (Hawaii) and the Northwest coast of America. Three of the engravings are of Hawaiian subjects and the text describes two important, early visits to the islands in 1787 and 1788.

First edition of this finely illustrated book. The striking images use a variety of techniques including aquatint or stipple engraving for most of the splendid portraits and views. They include aquatint views of the Philippines, Macao, Nihoa (Hawaii) and the Northwest coast of America. Three of the engravings are of Hawaiian subjects and the text describes two important, early visits to the islands in 1787 and 1788.

"This is one of the early and fundamental books on the Northwest coast of America in general and on Alaska in particular. In addition to his voyages from China to America in 1788 and 1789, which form the principal part of this work, Captain Meares describes his earlier voyage to the Northwest coast from Bengal, which took place in 1786 and 1787… This work, profusely illustrated and with many valuable historical documents appended to the main narrative, is of great importance in the study of early trading in furs originating on the Northwest coast and of a serious conflict between the English and the Spaniards in this connection …" (Lada-Mocarski).

"John Meares was sent out in 1796 from Calcutta, by a group of merchants, to enter into the fur trade of the Northwest coast of America. Establishing himself at Nootka Sound and flying the British flag, he built the first vessel to be launched in northern waters, made important discoveries, and explored the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The discoveries by Meares were part of the basis for the claim of Great Britain to Oregon. Competition with the Spanish almost caused war between the two countries and the struggle became known as the Nootka controversy. The Spanish seizure of his ships led to the convention by which the Spanish claims to any northern territory were finally disallowed. This important narrative gives a very full account of the Indian nations of Northwest America, describing their villages, languages, manners and customs. It also contains a separate account of the voyage of the Iphigenia, commanded by Captain William Douglas, which visited the Sandwich Islands and Nootka Sound…" (Hill).

The text is of some typographic interest: it was printed by 'logography', a printing process championed by the founder of The Times, John Walter, in which the most frequently found combinations of letters were welded together to form 'logotypes', thereby enabling the compositor to work faster (see Abbey, and John Feather, 'John Walter and the Logographic Press', Publishing History I, 1977).

Provenance: Carl Wendell Carlsmith (Hawaiian collector, with his pencil note that the book was acquired from J. Walker, Piccadilly, in June 1949 for $100).

Abbey, Travel, 594; Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', ; Hill, p. 195; Judd, 123; Lada-Mocarski, 46; Sabin, 47260; Streeter, 3491.

Condition Report: A little light offsetting of plates and a few spots as usual.

Price (AUD): $12,850.00

US$8,452.85   Other currencies

Ref: #5000293

Condition Report