Cession of the District of Matavai in the Island of Otaheite, to Captain James Wilson for the use of the Missionaries sent thither by that Society in the Ship Duff is Most Respectfully Dedicated, by their most obedient servants Willm Jeffrys and Co. Robert Smirke, after, The Duff Voyage.

Cession of the District of Matavai in the Island of Otaheite, to Captain James Wilson for the use of the Missionaries sent thither by that Society in the Ship Duff is Most Respectfully Dedicated, by their most obedient servants Willm Jeffrys and Co.

London: 1803. The title is preceded by the phrase "To the Treasurer and Directors of the London Missionary Society, this print representing the Cession..." Black & white mezzotint, as issued. 29 1/2" by 23" with sml. margins. Includes the engraved title. London, January 1st, 1803. For the Benefit of the Missionary Society. A large separately-issued mezzotint by Bartolozzi after the original oil painting by Smirke which is held by the National Library of Australia. Laid down on linen, which nicely stabilizes some slight creases & small marginal tears, two of which affect the caption, one barely into the plate. One sml. hole repaired. Overall, the picture is very bright, with warm glowing shades of gray nuancing the gathering of missionaries. England was enamored with Omai, the first Polynesian native to visit London, who accompanied Capt. James Cook after his 2nd voyage. He was seen as a living example of the "noble savage". However, Omai returned to the South Pacific in 1776 without being converted to Christianity, which was seen as a missed opportunity. To rectify that situation, the London Missionary Society was established, and in 1796, the ship Duff was dispatched with a group of 18 missionaries to Tahiti, under the command of Captain James Wilson. Wilson is seen in the foreground holding his hat, facing Chief Pomare. The Queen is held in the air on the shoulders of natives. At least 24 Tahitians & 17 Europeans are pictured on Matavai Bay. Nan Kivell & Spence, p. 324, National Library of Australia website. A very scarce print. Item #8346

Price: $8,000.00

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