WEBBER, James [but John] (1750?-1793). [THIRD VOYAGE] -- Views in the South Seas, from drawings by the late James Webber, draftsman on board the Resolution, Captain James Cooke, from the year 1776 to 1780 . London: Published by Boydell and Co., 1808 [but plates watermarked 1819 and 1820]. Large 2o (530 x 415 mm). Letterpress title and descriptions (some discoloration to tissue guards, very occasional soiling.) 16 hand-colored aquatint plates after Webber on Whatman paper (plate one with short tear at the sheet edge, occasional minor handling creases, otherwise in good condition) and 2 duplicates laid in: The Fan Palm and A Toopapaoo of a Chief. Contemporary half crimson straight-grained morocco, a.e.g. (hinges rubbed, boards worn).
Late Issue, with the plates bearing later watermarks. A FINE SET OF THESE IMPORTANT EARLY VIEWS, WITH FINE COLORING. The son of a Swiss sculptor, the artist anglicized his name to Webber and his Christian name was John, not James as listed on the title. His views depict scenes encountered while employed as draughtsman on the third voyage. These plates were originally published by Webber himself between 1 August 1788 and 1 August 1792, although without the descriptive text. Boydell reissued the plates in the present form fifteen years after Webber's death in 1793. The present copy, like Abbey's, has later watermarks; Abbey does not distinguish this as a second edition, but rather as a later issue. Or, as Hill describes it, "The title page is dated 1808 in all copies, but the plate imprints are dated April, 1809, and the water mark dates vary widely copy by copy, apparently a feature peculiar to Boydell's color plate books." Provenance: Arthur Webber, 19th century bookplate. Abbey Travel 595; Tooley 501; Hill p.611; Mitchell Library Cook 1872; Holmes79.