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Lot 16

Paul Revere Engraving

Thomas W. Streeter’s copy

16. [COOK’S FIRST VOYAGE]. HAWKESWORTH, John. 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. [2], 17 [1, blank], 4, [2], 260 pp. (223-229 for 222-228), 1 copper-engraved folded frontispiece (Dramatic Interlude & Dance given by the Indians of Ulietea performed by two Women & Six Men with three Drums, lower right: P[aul] Revere scp.), 1 copper-engraved folded map (untitled folding map of the world showing Cook and Bougainville’s voyages; lower right: Pretracted by B[ernard]. Romans) + [2], 250 pp. (147 for 247), 1 copper-engraved folded frontispiece (A New Zealand Warriour and Two Natives of New Holland.). 2 vols., 8vo, full contemporary American speckled sheep, red gilt-lettered leather spine labels. Spines and labels faded and rubbed, minor voids to sheep, corners bumped, Vol. I joint weak, all hinges starting or open though holding, scattered light to moderate foxing and staining throughout, including plates. Vol. I, pp. 91-92 with small void costing a few letters, tear mended at Vol. I, p. 151 (no loss). Map missing small section of lower left corner into neat line. Overall a very good copy in original condition of the much-sought edition with patriot Paul Revere’s work. With book label of Thomas W. Streeter on Vol. I pastedown and contemporary ink signature of T. Cary on both title pages. Exceptionally rare.

     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, Revere, pp. 102-105. Evans 13324. Holmes 9. Kroepelien 538. Phillips, Notes on Bernard Romans, p. 76. Sabin 16269 & 30936. Shipton & Mooney I, p. 348 (locating copy at AAS). Streeter Sale 2407 (this copy): “The frontispiece by Paul Revere and the Romans map make this a distinguished book.” Wheat & Brun, Maps and Charts Published in America before 1800: A Bibliography 1 (first world map listed as printed in the American colonies). Wroth, “The Early Cartography of the Pacific,” pp. 227-228. Not in Hill. This edition is based on Vols. II and III of the 1773 London edition published by Strahan & Cadell. Although the plate in Vol. II is not signed, it is attributed to Revere by Andrews. Brigham, however, rejects the attribution.

     A classic case of colonial piracy, brought out by Rivington 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” (quoted in Holmes). Judging from the subscribers’ list, the interest in the 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 printers also took subscriptions, no doubt for resale. The five subscribers at Pensacola were likely recruited by engraver Bernard Romans himself, George III’s botanist for West Florida, as is noted by his name in the first subscribers’ list.

     The Revere frontispiece of Tahitian girls dancing déshabillé in Vol. I is based on Plate VII in Vol. II of the 1773 London edition of Hawkesworth, here considerably reduced and showing somewhat vaguer anatomical correctness than the London edition. The frontispiece to Vol. II shows a New Zealand warrior and New Holland warriors, based on Plates 15 and 27 in Parkinson’s Voyage, 1773. The map, however, seems to be an original American contribution to Cook iconography. Romans’ map shows the entire circumnavigation, a route not shown in the London edition and apparently “pretracted” by Romans partially from the text. Hordern House discusses the map, commenting: “The highly important first American publication of Cook’s first voyage, the first American work to publish details of the Australian east coast, with a map which is the first serious American depiction of a complete Australian continent” (Parsons Collection 91).

     The crude little world map by Bernard Romans is not without interest for American cartography and printing history, apparently being the first world map printed in the American colonies (according to Wheat & Brun). Bernard Romans (ca. 1720-ca. 1784) was born in Holland and trained as a civil engineer in England. He relocated to America in 1756 and worked in Florida as a draughtsman and botanist, leading to his publication of A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida (New York, 1775). Romans produced many maps and sailing charts and made improvements to the mariner’s compass. He came to a mysterious end after being taken prisoner of war by the British in 1780. (2 vols.) ($10,000-20,000)

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