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Unknown engraver after Johann Georg Forster
Poe-Bird, New Zeeland.


The earliest image of the New Zealand native tui bird which went on to inspire Don Binney

Artist: Unknown engraver after Johann Georg Forster (1754-1794)
Title: Poe-Bird, New Zeeland.
Date: 1777
School: British, XVIIIth-century
Medium: engraving
Dimensions: 223 x 178mm (plate), 293 x 226mm (sheet)
Watermark: fragment of Dupuy/Auvergne close to Heawood 1232 and Churchill 515 (see image below)

Inscriptions/marks: in the plate lower centre border <<POE-BIRD, NEW-ZEELAND/ Published Feby 1st 1777. WmStrahan, New Street Shoe Lane, & Thos Cadell, in the Strand London>>, in the plate lower right border <<No LII>>
Condition: Fair condition of an impression on laid paper, some foxing and matt burn

Description: Engraving after a drawing by Johann Georg Forster, one of the naturalists on Cook’s second voyage together with his father Johann Reinhold Forster on the Resolution. View of a tui perched on a branch of kowhai with landscape in the distance. The Resolution made three visits to New Zealand, the first in March-May 1773, again in October-November 1773 and finally in November 1774. Published in James Cook, A Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World, performed by His Majesty’s Ships the RESOLUTION and ADVENTURE, in the years 1772, 1773, 1774 and 1775, 2 vols., London, W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1777.

Provenance: Peter Wedde Antiques, Wellington, 1999.