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Samuel HILL

1763 /1767 – 1807 /1811


ULMAN, Jacob

active by 1825 Died


not titled collection of early American engravings, including "The Death of Captain Cook" 1790-97 Description: Hardbound sketchbook with brown leather-coated cover, containing [35] plates.

Collection Title: Ulman, Jacob (compiler). Untitled [collection of early American engravings, including "The Death of Captain Cook"], United States of America, 1790-97.
Place made: United States of America
Materials & Technique: albums, prints, engravings and relief prints in black ink Support: album containing sheets of thin smooth buff wove paper
Manufacturer's Mark: no manufacturer's mark.
Edition State: published state
Impression: undesignated impression
Edition: print run unknown

Edition Notes: A bound volume of engraved plates and maps of different sizes, assembled from a late 18th century French two volume encyclopedia, as well as from early American printed sources, including the Massachusetts Magazine and Cook's Three Voyages to the Pacific Ocean (Boston 1797). The owner, Jacob Ulman, whose bookplate adorns the inside front board, had an interest in astronomy, maps of the world, cannon, Capt. James Cook and Boston, where he is recorded as having married in 1825, worked as a housewright, and is buried in Cambridge, Massachusetts in Mount Auburn Cemetery. Samuel Hill (ca. 1765 - 1809) was a Boston engraver of the late 18th century whose engravings were published in the Massachusetts Magazine; Defoe's New Robinson Crusoe (1790); the American Universal Geography (1796); and Cook's Three Voyages to the Pacific Ocean (1797). Other engravings by Hill in this compilation include: An East View of the New Meeting House in Hollis St., Boston; Baltimore Oriole (bird); Cobb's Field Piece (cannon); Bird Catching at Orkney. Other American engravers mentioned in Stauffer's "American Engravers Upon Copper and Steel' include T. Wightman, (his engraving of a tool & gears is not listed in Stauffer) and A. M. Peasley "Patent Corn Sheller"; Hooker, "Annual Motion of the Earth around the Sun, publ. in Newburyport Mass/ publ. by Edmund M. Blunt 1807, with orig. hand color The "Death of Captain James Cook " was one of the iconic images of the 18th century. Cook, already a successful navigator, was immortalized after his death at the hands of Hawaiian natives at Kealakekua Bay. Most likely from the Boston 1797 edition of Cook's Three Voyages, it measures 5 1/4 x 3 1/2", with "S. Hill sc." at the lower right. Two other engravings from the same work included are "Omai, a Native of Otaheite, who resided in England under the Patronage of Government upwards of Two Years". Omai (Mai, ca.1751 - 1780) was a Pacific Islander who had served as translator for Captain Cook on his 2nd & 3rd voyages, and was the physical embodiment of the "noble savage" in London society for a time. (3 x 5 1/2") & "A War Canoe of New Zealand " (with "A Branch of the Bread fruit" suspended in the sky above the canoe ( 4 7/8 x 3 1/4", trimmed to the right, no engraver listed). . The early engravings, from a French work, are astronomical in subject, and later include a series of maps; a double hemisphere folding world map, showing Australia as "N.le Hollande", by Tardieu aine"; Europe, Asia, France, Africa and "Amerique Septentrionale" of North America. These measure approx. 8 1/2 x 7 1/4". The volume includes a total of 35 plates with many folding maps, astronomical plates, illustrations of mechanical devices, ornithological plates, and others. Small 8vo, contemporary dark sheep covers, gilt rules at spine, edges a little rubbed. A few plates toned, some with small closed tears repaired, otherwise very good. Hardcover. [Antipodean
Primary Insc: no inscriptions.
Secondary Insc: no inscriptions.
Tertiary Insc: Inscribed front cover verso centre on adhered relief print, printed in black ink, from one block on paper painted in grey oil paint, ‘JACOB ULMAN.'. Inscribed front cover verso upper right in black pencil, '320260 [underlined]'.
Dimensions: book (closed) 20.6 h x 12.8 w x 1.3 d cm book (open) 20.6 h x 25.2 w x 1.5 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2014
Accession No: NGA 2014.1841.A-C
Subject: Voyages of exploration and discovery 1600-1900: English
  • Purchased by the National Gallery of Australia, from Antipodean Books, Maps and Prints, New York, 2014.