Sketches illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand from Original Drawings by Augustus Earle, Esq., Draughtsman of HMS 'Beagle'. Augustus EARLE.
Sketches illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand from Original Drawings by Augustus Earle, Esq., Draughtsman of HMS 'Beagle'
Sketches illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand from Original Drawings by Augustus Earle, Esq., Draughtsman of HMS 'Beagle'
Sketches illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand from Original Drawings by Augustus Earle, Esq., Draughtsman of HMS 'Beagle'
Sketches illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand from Original Drawings by Augustus Earle, Esq., Draughtsman of HMS 'Beagle'
Sketches illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand from Original Drawings by Augustus Earle, Esq., Draughtsman of HMS 'Beagle'
Sketches illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand from Original Drawings by Augustus Earle, Esq., Draughtsman of HMS 'Beagle'
Sketches illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand from Original Drawings by Augustus Earle, Esq., Draughtsman of HMS 'Beagle'

Sketches illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand from Original Drawings by Augustus Earle, Esq., Draughtsman of HMS 'Beagle'

London, 'Lithographed & Published, under the Auspices of the New Zealand Association, by Robert Martin & Co.', 1838.

Oblong folio (external dimensions approximately 380 × 550 mm), original lithographed pictorial title-wrapper, one leaf of letterpress description of the plates (verso blank), and 10 hand-coloured lithographed plates.

Later half roan and cloth (by Morrell, London), lettered and ruled in gilt on the spine and front panel; extremities a little worn, with minor loss at the head and foot of the spine; cloth a little marked and unevenly discoloured; plates interleaved with blank paper; front wrapper creased, a little marked, and trimmed slightly (with a few short edge tears sealed), but remargined to size on all edges when rebound; unobtrusive blind-stamp in the blank margin of all twelve leaves (well clear of the printed surface on all plates, and half-hearted attempts have been made to remove it from the wrapper and letterpress leaf); sealed tears to the margins of the letterpress leaf and plates 4, 7 and 10 (well clear of the printed surface or images, and stopping short of the imprint line in the worst instance, plate 10); plate 7 a little browned; small marginal tidemarks to two plates (again, well clear of the images) and the letterpress leaf (which is also foxed and a little creased); minimal foxing to the blank margins of some plates; notwithstanding, a very presentable copy, with the images proper essentially in excellent condition.

The monumental pictorial record of Maori life and customs by Augustus Earle (1793-1838), and an absolute rarity. 'In October 1827 he sailed on the "Governor Macquarie" and spent eight months between Hokianga and the Bay of Islands. He was convinced that no native race he had studied on his travels could compare with the New Zealanders, that "splendid race of men" with "a natural elegance and ease of manner".... Earle painted accurate representations of Maori customs, occasions and domestic scenes ... He joined the "Beagle" on 28 October 1831 as "artist supernumary [sic] with victuals", and became a friend of the young Charles Darwin. But by the time the "Beagle" reached South America Earle was ill, and he was forced to leave the ship at Montevideo in August 1832 ... Augustus Earle was probably the first English freelance painter to travel the world. He was the first European artist to establish himself for a time in New Zealand and make a prolonged study of a part of the country and a number of its people' (TeAra/DNZB).

Hocken, page 66; Abbey 'Travel' 587. The consignor has asked us to price this item for quick sale; we have fulfilled the first part of these instructions (the prices realised the few times this title has appeared at auction, and the copy on the market at the moment with an asking price of $98,000 attest to that!). The rest is over to you.

Item #115028

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