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Bargain! James Cook portrait with signature. Captain Cook c1886

Bargain! James Cook portrait with signature. Captain Cook c1886

by H.B. Hall & Sons

Captain James Cook (with signature) superb engraved portrait c1886. Sir Joseph Banks described Captain Cook as " the finest man (he) ever knew".

Original mezzotint and steel engraving by Henry Bryan Hall (1808-1884) and his three sons (Henry Bryan junior, Alfred Bryan and Charles Bryan), with whom he formed the company H.B. Hall and Sons, to engrave and publish portraits.

This beautiful engraving, after the portrait of Cook by Nathaniel Dance, was published circa 1886 for The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia. The Picturesque Atlas Publishing Company was set up to publish "a grand illustrated work to highlight Australia's century of progress as a Western nation". The fine engraved illustrations for this work were superior to any others at that date. As well as the later more traditional steel-engraving process, the engravers utilized the painstaking earlier mezzotint process which allowed finer definition of facial contours by using a rotating tool head to pierce the engraving plate with tiny dots to hold the ink.

In 1770 Captain Cook landed at Botany Bay, claimed the land for Britain and named the land New South Wales. Previous and subsequent exploration, discoveries, and development of the country were recorded, with many wonderful illustrations, in Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, published in Sydney between 1886 and 1888 to commemorate 100 years since the First Fleet settlement in Australia.

This engraving measures 25 x 18 cm (approx. 9 7/8 x 7 inches). It is one of the finest portraits ever done of James Cook but unfortunately there is a slight imperfection to the engraving below the left shoulder.

Stock Number: apauCCp.sigPrice: $44.00