Courtesy of a private collector | Licence: All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of a private collector | Licence: All Rights Reserved

Leaving Tahiti


17 August 1849



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From the Collection


Leaving Tahiti with pigs, oranges, yams and chickens on board. "I remarked to Captain Carter that he was sailing on Friday, but he said that he did not care about it; but the event of our voyage might be said to add another instance of the ill luck that attends ships which choose that day for their departure".
This is a page from a unique leather-bound volume of Robert Elwes’ travelogue 'A Sketcher's Tour Round the World', first published 1854, (see page 242 for corresponding passage).
The book contains the printed text of the manuscript but remarkably, the monochrome wash illustrations are hand painted by Elwes. The book bears a handwritten inscription ‘Mary F Elwes from her affect. husband Robert Elwes Jan 25 1878’, dated after Robert Elwes became ill at Congham, his Norfolk home. On 28th January 1878 , their youngest daughter Violet noted in her diary: “Papa much worse”. Less than three months later, Robert Elwes died on 17th April aged 58.

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Courtesy of a private collector

From the Watercolour World


Tahiti, French Polynesia