A Human Sacrifice, in a Morai, in Otaheite.
[London: Nicol & Cadell, n.d., c.1785.]
Engraving with very large margins. On watermarked paper. Platemark: 285 x 490mm (11¼ x 19¼"). Uncut.
A plate from 'Cook's Voyage to the Pacific'. A scene depicting a human sacrifice taking place on ceremonial ground, in Matavai Bay, Tahiti. A man lies in the centre of the image tied to a wooden pole, in front of a wooden platform with pigs. In the background is a display of human skulls on top of a stone wall. A group of men sit on the ground, on the left, each holding a plant leaf in their right hand. Two men play the drums on the left of the image, standing in front of a thatched roof building. Two men on the right are cooking a pig on a fire. A group of White naval officers, possibly including Captain Cook, stand on the far right of the image. John Webber (1751-93) travelled with Captain Cook on the Third Voyage (1776-80) as the Official Artist of the expedition, recording the explorer's death at the hand of Hawaiian natives.
[Ref: 34296] £320.00