Aboriginals with western trinkets, New Holland, 1826-1829.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph by Maurin after de Sainson, of a scene at Port of King George in what is now Australia. It is captioned 'A native shows his companions the presents which he has received on board the Astrolabe'. The Astrolabe was a French ship commanded by by French navigator Jules-Sebastien-Cesar Dumont d'Urville (1790-1842) on a scientific expedition of the Pacific. The aboriginals are depicted as ugly, child-like and simple, amazed by the mirror and shoes. In fact, aboriginals were indifferent to the trappings of western culture. Illustration from 'Voyage de decouvertes de "l'Astrolabe": execute par ordre du roi, pendant les annees 1826-1827-1828-1829' by Dumont d'Urville, published in Paris in 1833, (in English, 'Voyage of discovery of the "Astrolabe": undertaken by order of the king, during the years 1826-1829').