In this plate the engraver has combined two original sketches, one depicting Tuai or Tuhi (chief of the Kahuwera) wearing European dress, the other chief in traditional Maori dress. The image is unusual, although not unique, in naming both individuals rather than depicting them solely as ‘types’. Tuai spoke English, having been sent to England by a missionary, and played an intermediary role between the French expedition and local Maori.
Two New Zealand chiefs. By Ambroise Tardieu after L. F. Lejeune and A. Chazal. Coloured engraving in L. I. Duperrey, Voyage autour du monde: histoire de la voyage, Paris, 1826, 24.2 x 33.1cm, S0020671
William Smyth, a midshipman, made a large number of sketches during a naval voyage to the Pacific in 1825-8. They included this romanticised view of Pitcairn Island, home of the descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives. Such bucolic depictions are testament to the British re-imagining of Pitcairn in the early nineteenth-century, following the chaos and violence of the community’s beginnings.
'A view of the village at Pitcairn Island', including the observatory of H.M.S. Blossom. By William Smyth, 1825. Watercolour, 27.5 x 45 cm, S0020683
Spix and Martius, German naturalists who travelled through Brazil in 1817-20, were intrigued by Amerindian knowledge of plants and animals. Inspired by the work of Alexander von Humbolt, they used landscape imagery as a source of geographical knowledge.
'Ausgrabung und Zubereitung der Schildkröteneier, am Amazonenstrome' (Excavation and cooking of turtle on the Amazon). By Steingröbel after Martius. Lithograph in J. B. von Spix & K. F. P. von Martius, Atlas zur reise in Brasilien, Munich, 1834, 31.9 x 48.7cm, S0020678
After the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815, the French organized several scientific expeditions to the Pacific and Australasia. Engravings in published reports chose to depict mainly benign encounters with indigenous peoples, placing emphasis on the scientific nature of such expeditions and obscuring their other aims.
'Entrevue avec les naturels de L’Île Ombai' (Interview with the inhabitants of the island of Ombai). By Bovinet after J. Arago. Engraving, in L. Freycinet, Voyage autor du monde: atlas historique, Paris, 1825, 18.4 x 26.2cm, S0020656
Joseph Brown, a British trader, lived in Colombia between 1826 and 1841. Several of his watercolours in the Society's collections were the product of collaborations with local artists, including José Manuel de Groot and the Castillo brothers.
'Country riding costume of the plain of Bogotá'. By J. Castillo, after J. Brown, 1834. Watercolour, 29.3 x 45cm, S0020549
The watercolours attributed to Joseph Brown make up the earliest substantial collection of paintings of everyday life in Colombia. They appear to have been intended for publication in a book of picturesque scenes. This image was based on an original drawing by José Manuel Groot.
'The interior of a store in the principal street of Bogotá with mule drivers purchasing'. By Joseph Brown, after a drawing by J.M. Groot, c. 1840. Watercolour, 22 x 30.4cm, S0020547
European navigators were especially interested in the technology and design of boats and ships in the Pacific and the Indonesian archipelago.
'Vue de L’Île Pisang: Corocores de L’Île Guébé' (View of the Island of Pisang: Corocoros of the Island of Guebe). By Couton after J.-A. Pellion. Coloured engraving, in L. Freycinet, Voyage autour du monde: atlas historique, Paris, 1825, 18.4 x 26.2cm, S0020657
John Thomson established his reputation as a photographer after publishing illustrated books on his extensive travels in the Far East during the 1870s. He later worked on the illustrated serial Street Life in London. Thomson was appointed as RGS Instructor in Photography in 1886.
'Laos village, interior of Siam'. By John Thomson, 1866. B & W photograph, platinum print, 39.2 x 49.9cm, S0020684
Almost certainly taken by the commercial photographer C.F. Norton, this picture shows Everard im Thurn (in the foreground wearing a white cap) alongside Amerindian members of his expedition to the Kaieteur Falls.
River Essequibo at Kimparu. Everard im Thurn / C. F. Norton, 1878. B & W photograph, 18.8 x 24cm, S0005227
Silvino Santos working in his makeshift ‘laboratory’ at Boa Esperança. Santos made his own films of the Hamilton Rice expedition, and is remembered today as one of the pioneers of documentary film in Brazil.
Silvino Santos at Boa Esperança. By Alexander Hamilton Rice, c. 1919-20. B & W photograph, 7.8 x 13.2cm, S0020797
Tibetan deity presented to Gen. Bruce by the Chief Lama of Rongbuk (Rongphu) monastery in 1922. Although Bruce described it as a Green Tara, signifying readiness to act, the deity has the characteristics of a White Tara, representing all-seeing compassion. The death of seven porters on the expedition make this a particularly poignant gift.
White Tara. Bronze, 8.6 x 6 x 3.7cm
Using a specially modified camera, John Noel captured climbing scenes with a twenty-inch telephoto lens. In this picture, a partially hidden Sherpa helps to balance the telephoto lens. The unidentified photographer who took this picture was probably another Sherpa porter.
'Captain Noel and kinematograph camera with large telephoto lens established on the Chang la [North Col] at 23,000 feet'. By unknown photographer, 1922. B & W photograph, 7.6 x 10.2cm, S0001250
To establish a climbing route above the North Col, team members had to find a way through the Seracs on the East Rongbuk Glacier.
'Seracs, East Rongbuk Glacier above Camp II'. By George Finch, 1922. B & W photograph, 7.5 x 10.3cm, S0004978
Everest expedition members, 1922. By J.B.L. Noel, 1922. B & W photograph, 8.4 x 11 cm, S0001176
During the third summit attempt on 7 June 1922, led by George Mallory, seven members of the climbing party died, following an avalanche below the Chang La (North Col): Sangay Sherpa, Temba Sherpa, Lhakpa Sherpa, Pasang Namgya Sherpa, Norbu Sherpa, Pasang Namgya Sherpa, Norbu Bhotia, Pema Sherpa and Thankay (Dorje) Sherpa.
'Party near the top of the Chang La'. By T. Howard Somervell, 1922. B & W photograph, 7.6 x 10.2cm, S0014996