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Museum catalogue: Polar Art Collection


Cape Davis. Lat. 70.32.S Long.166.6.E.

Accession no.: Y: 59/5/4
Object name: Watercolour
Title: Cape Davis. Lat. 70.32.S Long.166.6.E.
Description: Watercolour by John Edward Davis, second master of HMS Terror, during the British Antarctic Expedition 1839-43.
Medium: Watercolour
Artist: Davis, J.E.
Note: Appears as an engraving in Sir James Clark Ross's 'A Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions, 1839-43' (London, 1847), vol 1, p. 252. Captain John Davis commanded Huron on the United States sealing voyage, 1820-22 and made the first documented landing of the Antarctic Peninsula on 7 February 1821, writing in his logbook 'I think this Southern Land to be a Continent'. It would appear that Davis had landed at Hughes Bay and this entry in his log is the first known reference to Antarctica as a continent written by someone who had actually seen the mainland. If this landing really did take place - and there seems little reason to doubt its authenticity - it predates Henryk Johan Bull’s landing at Cape Adare by 74 years.
  • Picture: Width: 265mm, height: 195mm
  • mount: Width: 405mm, height: 280mm