• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5808

    Travel, Science & Natural History

    8 April 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 111

    J-N. Roux (fl.c.1771-1824)

    Sauvage de la Nouvelle-hollande venant de combattre. (Port Jackson.)

    Price Realised  


    J-N. Roux (fl.c.1771-1824)
    Sauvage de la Nouvelle-hollande venant de combattre. (Port Jackson.)
    signed, inscribed and dated 'J-N Roux fecit, 1824./Sauvage de la Nouvelle-hollande/venant de combattre./(Port Jackson.)', stamped with collectors mark 'H.L.' (linked) [=Henri Ledoux?] in a heart
    charcoal on paper
    11 5/8 x 8¼in. (29.5 x 21cm.)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The drawing appears to be taken from the lithograph in Jacques Arago's Promenade Autour du Monde (Paris, 1822), one of three plates of Australian subjects. The drawing depicts a native of Port Jackson as a fierce warrior with a human head hanging from his waist. The 1819 French expedition under the command of Louis de Freycinet, on which Arago was one of the official artists, had witnessed a gathering of New Zealand natives in Sydney trading in shrunken heads. It is possible that Arago may have confused this event in his memory, since he shows a Port Jackson aborigine.

    Unlike the lithograph, the present drawing is signed 'J.- N. Roux fecit' and dated 1824, two years after Arago's publication. Roux had been an officer on Marion de Fresne's voyage to the Pacific in 1771 and it is well documented that Roux's observations of Aboriginal weapons, especially the waddy (or club) as held by this native, were the first records of Aboriginal armaments. Roux's findings may have been used in Arago's composition of this drawing. The present drawing does show some variations to the published version, especially in the addition to the background foliage. It remains unclear why it should have been produced two years after Arago's original publication of the image

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.