Breadfruit engraving: 'Artocarpus The Bread fruit Tree'. James Cook.

Breadfruit engraving: 'Artocarpus The Bread fruit Tree'.

Philadelphia: Ca. 1800. Copper engraving after Cook, published in Philadelphia for an encyclopedia. This is Plate LVIII, depicting a branch of the tree with 2 large fruit, with two insets at the bottom of the plate: at the left, 'Argonauta Argo' showing the sinuous arms of a small octopus partly out of its egg case, and at the right, 'Apis'. 'Scot, Philad.a' in the lower right corner.

This engraving is based on one which first appeared in the official account of Cook's first voyage, 'An Account of the Voyages…,' London, 1773. In Chapter VIII on Otaheite (Tahiti) there is a long description of the discovery of the tree and the uses of its fruit: "it must be roasted before it is eaten, being fully divided into three or four parts…". William Bligh, who sailed with Cook on this first expedition, returned to Tahiti in 1787 as commander of the Bounty specifically to gather the breadfruit for cultivation in the West Indies.

7 x 9 1/2" on paper 8 3/4 x 11 1/8", with a tab. Laid paper with watermark. Small toned crescent at lower right, in margin only; some offsetting. Very good condition. Item #22711

Price: $125.00

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