COOK, Capt. James (1728-1779) and Captain James KING
A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, for making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere. Performed under the Direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Discovery; in the Years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780
London: W. & A. Strahan for G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1785. 4 volumes (text: 3 volumes, 4to [12 5/8 x 9 5/8 inches];atlas: 1 volume, folio [23 1/2 x 17 inches]). Text: engraved medallion vignettes on titles, 1 folding letterpress table. Atlas: 87 engraved plates, plans, maps and charts (1 folding, 1 double-page, and including the 24 small format plates usually found in the text, here on unfolded full sheets. Extra-illustrated, with very rare (and possibly unique) impressions of the 24 engraved plates on wove paper watermarked 1801, bound into the text.
Original paper-covered boards, expertly rebacked to style with contemporary brown paper. All contained within dark blue morocco-backed boxes.
A fine unsophisticated set of the third edition of the third voyage, with the plates in their most desirable form: all the plates usually found in the text volumes are here bound unfolded and uncut, in the atlas volume. In addition, this set extra-illustrated with a duplicate set of those plates, being unrecorded 1801 impressions on wove paper.
"The famous accounts of Captain Cook's three voyages form the basis for any collection of Pacific books. In three great voyages Cook did more to clarify the geographical knowledge of the southern hemisphere than all his predecessors had done together. He was really the first scientific navigator and his voyages made great contributions to many fields of knowledge ... Cook's third voyage was organized to seek the Northwest Passage and to return [the islander] Omai to Tahiti. Officers of the crew included William Bligh, James Burney, James Colnett, and George Vancouver. John Webber was appointed artist to the expedition. After calling at Kerguelen Island, Tasmania, New Zealand, and the Cook, Tonga, and Society Islands, the expedition sailed north and discovered Christmas Island and the Hawaiian Islands, which Cook named the Sandwich Islands. Cook charted the American west coast from Northern California through the Bering Strait as far north as latitude 70 degrees 44 minutes before he was stopped by pack ice. He returned to Hawaii for the winter and was killed in an unhappy skirmish with the natives over a boat. Charles Clarke took command and after he died six months later, the ships returned to England under John Gore. Despite hostilities with the United States and France, the scientific nature of this expedition caused the various governments to exempt these vessels from capture. The voyage resulted in what Cook judged his most valuable discovery - the Hawaiian Islands" (Hill). The typography of the third edition is similar to the second edition, which is generally considered superior to the first: Hughs took over the printing from Strahan and re-set all the text). In addition the third edition includes the first appearance of William Wales's "A Defence of the Arguments advanced, in the introduction to Captain Cook's last Voyage, against the existence of Cape Circumcision" (vol.III, pp.557-564). This fine set in boards comprises the rarest and most desirable form of the third voyage, with the 24 plates intended for the text volumes to be bound uncut and unfolded into the atlas. Thus plates which are generally severely trimmed close or into the image to fit into the text, are here on full sheets with wide margins. An early owner of this set, however, has evidently extra-illustrated his text with early 19th century impressions of those plates. This issue of the duplicate set of plates appears unrecorded, being on wove paper watermarked 1801. That the plates were added later is confirmed by the fact that the plates are tipped-in, rather than sewn or guarded into the text.
Cf. Beddie 1543; cf. Forbes Hawaiian National Bibliography, 62; cf. Lada-Mocarski 37; cf. Printing and the Mind of Man 223; cf. Sabin 16250.