No date. Ca. 1780.
Copper plate engraving, image 8 1/4 x 14 inches on sheet size 9 3/4 x 15 1/2 inches, multiple folds as issued. A few short edge tears (outside plate area), image clean and bright. Engraving from a French edition of Captain James Cook's second voyage depicting this island in the south Atlantic ocean which he claimed for King George III. Wikipedia notes that "early visits resulted in no sovereignty claims. In particular ― unlike the case of the Falkland Islands ― Spain never claimed South Georgia. The latter anyway fell within the ‘Portuguese’ portion of the world as envisaged by the 1494 Tordesillas Treaty concluded between Spain and Portugal. The mariner Captain James Cook in HMS Resolution accompanied by HMS Adventure made the first landing, survey and mapping of South Georgia. As mandated by the Admiralty, on 17 January 1775 he took possession for Britain and renamed the island 'Isle of Georgia' for King George III. German naturalist Georg Forster, who accompanied Cook during their landings in three separate places at Possession Bay on that day, wrote: "Here Captain Cook displayed the British flag, and performed the ceremony of taking possession of those barren rocks, in the name of his Britannic Majesty, and his heirs forever. A volley of two or three muskets was fired into the air." Nowadays the date of 17 January is celebrated as Possession Day, a public holiday in SGSSI." Item #55573