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1788 Pollard engraving "The Desire, one of Cavendish's Fleet"

$50.00 CAD

– Sold Out

Engraved for Moore’s Voyages & Travels

The Desire one of CAVENDISH’S Fleet in a Dangerous Storm near the streights of Maghellan

Vernet pinx.        Pollard sculp.

Engraved by Pollard based on an image created by Vernet.

Copperplate engraving.

Mounted on foam-core white board. Has been cut-down.

30,50 x 18,25 cm // 12” x 7 ⅛“


During the 1700s chronicles about travel became popular in Great Britain as new lands were explored, the empire expanded and and trade routes were established. One of the best examples is "A New and Complete Collection of Voyages and Travels" by John Hamilton Moore, Master of The Academy at Brentford which was printed by Alexander Hogg in London in 1778. Moore descried some of the most interesting discoveries and adventures such as voyages by James Cook, Furneaux, Magellan, Drake, Anson, Dampier, Wallis and other great explorers. Moore said his work was "embellished with a superb and elegant set of copper plate engravings and maps". These included accurate descriptions of New Holland (Australia), New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, the search for the North West passage, and native Americans.


Robert Pollard (1755–1838) was an English engraver and painter.

Born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, Pollard was articled to a watch-smith there, and then became a pupil of Richard Wilson. For a time he practised as a landscape and marine painter, but in 1781 he moved to London, worked as an engraver for the printseller John Harris, and established himself in a studio in Spa Fields, London.

In 1788 Pollard was elected a fellow, and in the following year a director, of the Incorporated Society of Artists, which closed down in 1791. He was in business for many years in Islington. In 1810 he sold up, but then in Holloway Place ran a printselling business, for which his son James supplied many of the designs.

The Desire was the 120 ton flagship Thomas Cavendish built for his highly successful 1586-1588 circumnavigation of the globe. The Desire was only the third ship to circumnavigate the globe after the Victoria of Ferdinand Magellan (journey completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano) and the Golden Hind of Francis Drake. After this expedition Cavendish was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I of England who was invited to a dinner aboard the Desire.

The ship was later captained by John Davis on the second, unsuccessful, Cavendish expedition. On that same expedition it was the ship he captained when he probably discovered the Falkland Islands. Davis brought the ship back, in a wretched state, to Berehaven in Ireland on 14 June 1593. Only Davis and fifteen crewmen survived out of an original 76 on the ship.