Beautiful antique lithograph of a tattooed Caroline Islander, from an image drawn by Alexander Filippovich Postels, during Fréderic Lütke's circumnavigation in the 1820s.
The Caroline Islands are in the South Pacific, north of New Guinea, and were once known as the New Philippines. The Micronesian man illustrated in the lithograph has intricate full-body tattoos and gauged ears.
This is plate 28 from the atlas to accompany the First French edition of the account of Fréderic Lütke's voyage around the world: Voyages autour du Monde Fait Par Ordre de Sa Majesté L'Empereur Nicolas Ier. sur la Corvette Le Séniavine, pendant les années 1826, 1827, 1828, & 1829, Sous le Commandement de Fréderic Lütke...
The atlas included 51 lithographed plates and 3 maps.
The voyage book is extremely rare and was last offered for sale by Christie's Paris, in 2014, where it made over 50,000 euros.
The Voyage of the Seniavine
Lütke's voyage was one of many Russian scientific naval surveys in the first part of the 19th century. Amid the tensions of the early 1820s over borders and fishing rights in the North Pacific involving Russia, Great Britain, and the United States, the tsar originally intended to send the Seniavin to the region as a warship. When these issues were resolved in the Russian-American and Anglo-Russian conventions of 1824 and 1825, the Seniavin instead was sent to survey the Alaskan and Asian coasts. The book, based upon the voyage and published in French in the early 1830s, offered new information of great interest to geographers and the wider scientific community in Europe at this time. The voyage of the Seniavin resulted in novel charts and names for new islands and geographical features in the Bering Sea and wider stretches of the Pacific Ocean. Litke visited New Archangel (present-day Sitka), the capital of Russian America, as well as Unalaska, the Pribilof Islands, Saint Matthew Island, and the Commander Islands in the Bering Sea.