Félix-Achille Saint-Aulaire (Lithographer)

La Corvette L'Astrolabe en perdition sure les recifs. (Tonga-Tabou). [The Corvette Astrolabe in distress on the reef (Tongatapu)]

La Corvette L'Astrolabe en perdition sure les recifs. (Tonga-Tabou). [The Corvette Astrolabe in distress on the reef (Tongatapu)] by Félix-Achille Saint-Aulaire

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The Astrolabe's visit to Tonga was bookend by two near disasters. Upon arrival in the waters of the island of Tongatapu on 20 April 1827, the Astrolabe became in peril on the reef, and four days were spent trying to save the boat and ultimately shift it. All the while, Captain Dumont d'Urville aware that in the event of shipwreck he would need the goodwill of the local chiefs to ensure the survival of his crew negotiated with them. The events provided much interest to locals who came out with goods to barter, and d'Urville reflected darkly at one precarious moment that the natives suddenly came closer "to be on the spot for the moment she sank; like a dark cloud of vultures waiting only for a favourable moment to swoop on their wounded pray." (Rosenman, 1987, p.114) This, however, did not come to pass and the ship was eventually moved off the reef on 24 April.

Title
La Corvette L'Astrolabe en perdition sure les recifs. (Tonga-Tabou). [The Corvette Astrolabe in distress on the reef (Tongatapu)]
Artist/creator
Production date
1833
Medium
lithograph
Dimensions
325 x 495 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2008
Accession no
2009/3/12
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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